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Alcohol and Other Drugs - University Policy and Law

The following is taken from the Student Handbook:

“Social settings may vary in size and purpose, and some will include the consumption of alcoholic beverages. In this respect it is expected that all those who choose to use alcohol on the University campus do so in a responsible and appropriate manner and at no time should alcohol become a primary focus of any activity. Students should understand that misuse of alcohol or other drugs can result in psychological and physical dependence and that alcohol and other drug abuse can lead to serious physical consequences such as suppression of immune response, organ damage, and learning and memory problems. Any substance used immoderately will result in negative consequences for the user.”

It is against state law and University policy:

  • to procure, or in any way aid or assist in procuring, furnish, give, sell or deliver liquor for or to a minor (under 21);
  • to allow any minor under that person’s control, or in any place under that person’s control, to possess or consume liquor;
  • to procure, or in any way aid or assist in procuring, furnish, give, sell or deliver liquor to a visibly intoxicated person; or
  • to procure, or in any way assist in procuring, furnish, give, sell or deliver imitation liquor for or to a minor, or allow a minor under that person’s control or in a place under that person’s control to possess or consume imitation liquor.
  • for any person of legal drinking age to consume alcohol in a common area, or public place.

Current law classifies furnishing or allowing consumption of liquor by a minor as a Class D crime. This bill increases the classification to a Class C crime if the consumption of the furnished liquor by the minor proximately causes death of or bodily injury to the minor or any other individual.

The sale of alcoholic beverages is permitted only under the auspices of the University catering services staff and requires a special state license.

In an effort to maximize risk management, assist student organizations, and encourage responsible and accountable sponsorship, a campus-wide committee charged by the Vice President for Student Affairs developed the Catered-Party Policy in 1988 for the University of Maine. A series of more recent revisions have clarified the policy and made it more conducive to broad-based distribution. The service of alcoholic beverages at University functions must be in compliance with Maine State Law and University policies – i.e., an individual must be of legal age to possess or purchase alcoholic beverages; and individuals/organizations may not sell alcoholic beverages without proper license. The only approved University of Maine plan for dispensing alcoholic beverages at student functions is the University Catered-Party Policy. The sale of alcohol at any function is illegal without a catering license.

Catering Services: The University will extend its qualified caterers liquor license for University Catered Parties under the following conditions:

Conditions and Guidelines: In following the conditions and guidelines below, Greek organizations should seek assistance and approval from the Associate Dean of Students. All other organizations should seek assistance or approval from the Office of Substance Abuse Services.

  1. Arrangements must be made with the Associate Dean of Students or the Office of Substance Abuse Services fourteen (14) days prior to the event.
  2. The sponsoring organization plays a major role in planning and implementing the event. Furthermore, the student organization is responsible for seeing the members’ and guests’ behavior is consistent with University policies and state statutes. The sponsoring organization must create an atmosphere where norms of responsible alcohol use prevail.
  3. The University will determine in consultation with student groups the number of staff, including police coverage, required to service a party function.
  4. A variety of non-alcoholic beverages must be available at the service areas at the same price or less than the cost of alcoholic beverages. Food available in sufficient quantities to last the entire event must be present.
  5. University catered parties will occur only on Fridays and Saturdays. Exceptions for special occasions will be considered.
  6. Money collected for University catered parties is limited to cash sales over the bar with all money being collected by Catering Office staff. Organizations hosting licensed parties may, however, collect a cover charge at the door to help defray party expenses related to entertainment. The cost of beer and wine offered for sale at University catered parties should be competitive with market prices.
  7. All party venues must be in compliance with town fire, safety, and crowd-control regulations in order to be eligible for the University Catered-Party Policy. Regulations are available from the Associate Dean of Students.

State of Maine Alcohol Laws

Information provided by the Bureau of Highway Safety and Bureau of Liquor Enforcement.

  • Operating Under the Influence 
    In Maine, if you are driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more, you are guilty of a criminal offense known as operating under the influence, or OUI.Following your arrest, and based solely on the police report and blood alcohol content (BAC) test result, the Secretary of State will immediately suspend your license. This suspension takes place prior to any court appearance, so while you’re waiting for your day in court, you won’t be driving.
  • Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)
    BAC is a precise way of stating the amount of alcohol in a quantity of blood. BAC can be measured with a breath or blood test. If you have a BAC of .08 percent or more, you can be found guilty by a court on this basis alone, without further evidence.
  • Implied Consent
    It is important for Maine drivers to remember that a driver’s license is not a right guaranteed under our Constitution. It is a privilege that is administratively issued and can be withdrawn by the State.Under Implied Consent, you automatically agree to a chemical test (blood, breath or urine) at any time authorities have probable cause to administer it. If you refuse to take such a test for alcohol or drugs, your driver’s license will immediately suspended. The suspension could last as long as six months. Because this is done administratively, no court action is necessary, however you might have an administrative hearing at the DMV.In addition, testimony from the arresting officer regarding your driving performance can result in an OUI conviction even without the BAC test.If you are found guilty of OUI based on the police officer’s testimony, your refusal to take a test will be considered as an aggravating factor by the judge and another suspension, as well as mandatory jail time, will be tacked on. So by refusing you will have much harsher penalty than if you’d taken the test.

    Remember a test can protect you. If you are not legally intoxicated, the test will show it.

  • Conditional Licenses
    Reinstated licenses include the condition of not driving after drinking. After the first conviction, the license is conditional for one year. After subsequent convictions, it is conditional for ten years.A conditional license can be suspended for one year, without a preliminary hearing, for operating with any amount of alcohol in the blood. A conditional license can be suspended for a period of two years for any refusal to submit to a blood-alcohol test, a penalty which will be added to any suspension previously handed down for an OUI conviction.
  • Vehicle Seizure or Forfeiture
    A person operating under the influence while under suspension for a previous OUI, is subject to vehicle seizure and forfeiture, as well as a fine and jail time.
  • Other Consequences
    There are many other consequences that come as a result of drinking and driving to consider. Here are just a few:
    1) All OUI convictions result in a criminal record, not an
    asset when applying for a job or college entry.

    2) Overall costs associated with an OUI conviction can reach $7,000.00. 3) Drinking and driving takes thousands of innocent lives each year. Could you live with yourself?

    4) At present, drunk driving causes more deaths and injuries than any other violent crime; no one, including friends and family is immune.

  • Minimum Court Imposed Penalties for OUI
    * Offense Suspension Jail Time Fine
    * 1st w/ no aggravating Factors 90 Days 0 $400.00
    * 2nd w/ aggravating Factors(1) 90 Days 48 Hours $400.00
    * 1st with refusal of BAC test (2) 90 Days 96 Hours $500.00
    * 2nd (3) 18 Months 7 Days $600.00
    * 2nd with refusal of BAC test 18 Months 12 Days $800.00
    * 3rd 4 Years 30 Days $1,000.00
    * 3rd with refusal of BAC test 4 Years 40 Days $1,300.00
    * 4th or more 6 Years 6 Months $2,000.00
    * 4th with refusal of BAC test 6 Years 6 Months $2,400.00 & 20 Days

    1. Aggravating factors include a BAC of .15 percent or more, or traveling 30m.p.h. or more over the posted speed limit, or attempting to elude an officer of the law, or having a passenger under 16 years of age.

    2. Refusal to be tested results in a loss of license for 180 days, which is consecutive to any suspension imposed for an OUI conviction.

    3. A second conviction within ten years prohibits the offender from obtaining work-restricted license or from registering a vehicle.

  • Drivers Involved in Fatal Crashes
    Every driver involved in a fatal motor vehicle crash, or a crash where a death is likely to occur, must submit to a blood alcohol test. Failure to do so will result in a one year license suspension.If the Secretary of State is satisfied that a driver, while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, negligently operated a motor vehicle in such a manner to cause death of any person, the Secretary shall immediately suspend the operator’s license for at least three years. This suspension will be consecutive to any suspension imposed for refusal to submit to a chemical test.Moreover, a conviction for vehicular homicide can result in a prison term of up to 30 years and a permanent loss of your driver’s license if alcohol is involved.
  • Knowing Your Limit
    Misconceptions about alcohol and how it effects safe driving are widespread. Knowing the truth can mean the difference between life and death. When alcohol enters your system, your ability to control a car, yourself, immediately starts to deteriorate. Good judgment, concentration and your ability to react quickly all start to disappear with the first drink.
  • Factors Influencing BAC
    Factors that can affect the relationship between alcohol consumed and BAC level include:1) Weight: A larger person requires more alcohol to reach a particular BAC level than a smaller person.2) Gender: Women generally reach higher BACs than men of the same weight with the same amount of alcohol.3) Amount of food in stomach: Food slows the absorption of alcohol into the blood.

    4) Time spent drinking: Alcohol is eliminated at the rate of about one drink (1 ounce of alcohol) per hour.

    5) Time since last drink: Because time is needed to metabolize a drink, a persons BAC can continue to rise after he or she has stopped drinking.

    The best advice to follow is that if you drink, plan ahead, and designate a non-drinking driver.

  • The Zero Tolerance Law
    If you are under 21 years if age, Maine has a special law for you. If you are found operating, or attempting to operate, a motor vehicle with any measurable alcohol in your body, you will lose your license for one year. If you refuse a test, you will lose your license for one year anyway.Drivers under 21 years with a BAC of .08 percent or more can be prosecuted for the criminal offense of OUI, but the license suspension must be for one year.
  • Illegal Possession
    It is a civil violation for any person under the age of 21 to possess liquor or imitation liquor except if it is within the scope of their employment or in their home in the presence of their parent. Fines for illegal possession are as follows:
    • 1st Offense: $200.00 to $400.00
    • 2nd Offense: $300.00 to $600.00
    • 3rd or Subsequent Offenses: $600.00

    Youths 17 years or younger are charged with juvenile crime of illegal possession.

  • Illegal Transportation Of Liquor
    No person under the age of 21 shall transport alcoholic beverages in a motor vehicle except in the scope of their employment or at the request of their parent. The penalties for illegal transportation are:
    • 1st Offense: 30 Day license suspension and a fine no more than $500.00
    • 2nd Offense: 90 Day license suspension and a fine not less than $200.00
    • 3rd Offense: One year license suspension and a fine no less than $400.00
  • Giving False Written or Oral Information It is unlawful to give a licensee false written or oral evidence of age to attempt to purchase liquor or gain entrance into a licensed establishment where minors are not allowed.Penalties:18, 19 and 20 year olds- Civil Violation
    • 1st offense: $200 to $400
    • 2nd offense: $300 to $600
    3rd offense: $600

    Individuals 17 years of age and under Juvenile Crime (non-arrest)

    Upon conviction court shall suspend driver’s license
    • 1st offense: 30 days
    2nd offense: 90 days
    • 3rd offense: 1 year

    Car Insurance

  • Furnishing Liquor to a Minor
    Any person who furnishes liquor to a minor, or allows a minor under that person’s control, or in any place under that person’s control, to possess or consume liquor, may be fined up to $2,000.00 and/or sentenced up to one year in jail. If the minor is less than14 years of age, or the violation is a second offense within six years, the fine shall not be less than $500.00. For any third or subsequent offense within six years, the minimum penalty is $1,000.00 fine and up to six months in jail.In cases of death or serious bodily injury an individual can be charged with a felony that could result in a jail sentence of up to 5 years and fines up to $5000.00.
  • Furnishing Imitation Liquor to a Minor
    Any person who furnishes imitation liquor to a minor, or allows a minor under that person’s control to possess, or consume imitation liquor, may be fined up to $500.00 and/or sentenced to six months in jail.
  • Illegal Sale of Liquor
    Any person who sells liquor in Maine without a license issued by the Bureau Of Liquor Enforcement is subject to the following penalties:
    • 1st Offense: $300.00 to $500.00 fine and up to 30 days in jail.
    • 2nd Offense: $500.00 to $1,000.00 fine and up to 60 days in jail.
    • 3rd and Subsequent Offenses: $1,000.00 fine and 60 days in jail, not to be suspended. An additional 4 months in jail time is possible.

    A person may not hold a liquor license or interest for 5 years after conviction.

    A person may not sell liquor for a period of 2 to 5 years after conviction.

    Criminal record

  • Illegal Possession with Intent to Sell
    Any person who possesses liquor with the intent to sell in violation of Maine Liquor Laws, may be fined up to $1,000.00 and sentenced to six months in jail. The vehicle used may be impounded and subject to forfeiture proceedings.

    Maine Liquor Liability Act

    The Maine Liquor Liability Act was established to form a legal basis for obtaining compensation for damages as a result of intoxication and related incidents. A non-licensed, social host (a person who does not hold a Maine Liquor License) can be sued for negligent or reckless conduct.By definition, negligent conduct is the serving of liquor to a minor or intoxicated person, if the defendant knows or a reasonable and prudent person being served is a minor or is visibly intoxicated.

    Reckless Conduct is the intentional serving of liquor to a person when the server knows the person being served is a minor, or visibly intoxicated, and the defendant consciously disregards an obvious and substantial risk that serving liquor to that person will cause physical harm to the drinker or to others.

    Financial Implications

    Damages may be awarded for property damage, bodily injury, or death caused by the consumption of liquor served by the defendant. The limit on awards is $250,000.00 plus medical expenses.


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