Alcohol and Drug Policy

Student Alcohol and Drug Policy


Berea College complies with the Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1994 and Drug and Alcohol Prevention Regulations prohibiting the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of a controlled substance on Berea College Campus.

Federal, state and local laws prohibit (the illegal possession or misuse of drugs such as marijuana, barbiturates, amphetamines, prescription tranquilizers, LSD compounds, mescaline, psilocybin, DMT, narcotics (including cocaine), and opiates.) non-medical (illicit drugs) use and trafficking in drugs, hallucinogens, and narcotics.  Kentucky state laws prohibit persons less than 21 years of age from using or possessing alcohol beverages.  Providing alcohol to persons under 21 years of age is illegal.  In Kentucky, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance is a violation of law.  All students, whether living on or off campus, must adhere to local, state and federal laws concerning alcohol use and are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with Berea College’s community expectations.

The use of drugs and alcoholic beverages is inimical to the aims and purposes of our educational community.  It can also be detrimental to individual members of the community.  For both these reasons, Berea College prohibits the possession and use of drugs and alcoholic beverages on campus, or other college property, or while engaged in any College sanctioned or supported activities.  In addition, possession of paraphernalia for the use of drugs is a violation of Federal and State laws as well as College regulations and is sufficient reasons to be subject to disciplinary action (link to Community Judicial Code and Student Conduct Regulations).

Health Risks Associated with Alcohol and Drug Abuse

The risks associated with the use of illicit drugs (including controlled substances) and the abuse of alcohol are numerous and include but is not limited to the following: physical and psychological dependence, damage to the brain, kidneys and lungs, high blood pressure, ulcers, sustaining or causing personal injury, arrested while driving under the influence or intoxicated and accidental death.  There are other immediate risks associated with alcohol and drug abuse that students may be unaware, including: poor academic and work performance, poor social interactions, unwanted and inappropriate sexual activity and jeopardizing future career prospects.

*Internal Penalties and Sanctions

Policies and laws on drug use and use of alcohol on Berea College property apply to all students, faculty, and staff.  Any student found to be in possession of or using drugs or alcohol will be subjected to disciplinary sanctions including possible suspension or expulsion (link to Community Judicial Code and Student Conduct Regulations).  Students selling or trafficking illegal drugs are liable for the most serious judicial actions---dismissal from the College.  Students who possess or use drugs in violation of state and federal laws are also in jeopardy of criminal prosecution.

Given the serious problems which can arise from alcohol and drug use, the College provides educational programs on these matters.  No person should hesitate to seek answers to questions relating to drugs or to seek help from the College’s counseling or medical services.  Students who seek counseling or medical assistance on campus as a result of the use of drugs or alcohol can do so with assurance that strict counseling and medical confidentiality will be observed.  No campus disciplinary action will result from information which is disclosed within the bounds of mental health counseling or College Health Services medical confidentiality.

Berea College has a “zero tolerance” level regarding illegal possession or misuse of drugs or alcohol, or knowingly being in the presence of those who possess or misuse drugs or alcohol. Employees who engage in such activities are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. As a condition of employment, each employee of the College agrees to abide by the terms of this statement. Independent of a decision to impose discipline, the College reserves the right to require that an employee who engages in prohibited conduct, participate in and successfully complete a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program.

Kentucky State Laws and Penalties Regarding Alcohol and Other Controlled Substances

The College provides the following information concerning state laws regarding the use, sale, and possession of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances, and also to warn of the serious legal penalties to which students and employees may be subject if they violate the laws. 

All references are to the Kentucky Revised Statutes and are subject to change:

KRS 222.202-Alcohol intoxication or drinking alcoholic beverages in a public place.

For the full text of this statute, see

KRS 244.085-Minors not to purchase liquor or to misrepresent age.

For the full text of this statute, see

KRS 242.230-Traffic in alcoholic beverages in dry county prohibited.

For the full text of this statute, see

KRS 242.250-Distributing, soliciting or receiving contracts or orders in dry territory prohibited.

For the full text of this statute, see

KRS 189A.010-Operating a Motor Vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other  substance which may impair driving ability is prohibited.

For the full text of this statute and applicable penalties, see

KRS Chapter 218A–Definitions, prohibited acts and penalties relating to the possession, use, and trafficking concerning controlled substances and paraphernalia.

For an index and full text of these statutes, see

KRS 222.990-Involuntary Treatment for Alcohol and other Drug Abuse.

For the full text of this statute and applicable penalties, see

Federal Laws and Penalties Regarding Drug Trafficking

Federal laws also apply to trafficking in controlled substances. An outline of the penalties for violations of these laws may be found at:

Distribution of Policy: Measuring Effectiveness

Annually, Berea College will inform employees of the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, the existence of this Policy and its penalties for violations, and of available drug and alcohol counseling, rehabilitation and assistance programs through (i) annual electronic notices of this Policy, (ii) dissemination of this Policy and information about resources and assistance regarding drug and alcohol abuse at new-hire orientation. Biennially, the College will review this program to determine effectiveness and to ensure that the College’s disciplinary sanctions are consistently enforced.

Selected Institution-Wide Policies