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Policies/Information - Alcohol and Drugs Policy

University policy recognizes that substance abuse is a complex problem that is not easily resolved solely by personal effort and may require professional assistance and/or treatment. Accordingly, each campus and System-wide Services have designated an individual to assist employees and students who seek referral for assistance with a substance-abuse problem. Students, faculty, and staff members with substance-abuse problems are encouraged to take advantage of available diagnostic, referral, counseling, and prevention services. However, employees and students availing themselves of these services will not be granted special privileges and exemptions from standard personnel practices applicable to job performance requirements and from standard academic and student conduct requirements. The University will not excuse acts of misconduct committed by employees and students whose judgment is impaired due to substance abuse.

Alcoholic Beverages

The sale, possession, and use of alcohol on campuses of the University of Maine System must comply with the laws of the state of Maine and with local University regulations and procedures. The acquisition, possession, transportation, and consumption of alcohol by anyone under 21 years of age is prohibited by University policy.

Alcohol may be possessed or consumed on University property only by persons 21 years of age or older in appropriately licensed and/or approved campus facilities. Persons are expected to assume responsibility for their own behavior while drinking and must understand that being under the influence of alcohol in no way lessens their accountability to the University community.

Illegal Drugs

The possession, use, manufacture, or distribution of illegal drugs (heroin, cocaine, marijuana, LSD, steroids, etc.) is prohibited at any time on University property and as part of any University activities. “Illegal drugs” does not mean the use of drugs under a valid prescription. Employees and students known to use, possess, manufacture, or distribute illegal drugs are liable to public law-enforcement actions and University disciplinary actions. In compliance with Federal law, the University of Maine System has a policy regarding drug and alcohol testing for employees who operate commercial vehicles.


Employees who violate the University’s policy will be subject to disciplinary action by the University. The severity of the imposed sanctions will be appropriate to the violation; possible sanctions include suspension, probation, dismissal, restitution, official censure or reprimand, referral for prosecution, participation in a rehabilitation program, and other actions the University deems appropriate. If a need for consultation exists, contact the University of Maine Employee Assistance Program at 581-4014. Violations should be reported to the Assistant Vice president of Human Resources by calling 581-1581.

Special Rules That Apply to Employees and Students Under the Drug Free Workplace Act

In November of 1988, the United States Congress enacted the Anti-Drug Abuse Act which contains a section called the “Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988.” This section requires organizations receiving federal grants and contracts to ensure that their workplaces are from illegal use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances.

The law requires employers who receive federal funds to:

  • notify employees that drug abuse is prohibited in the workplace
  • establish a drug-free awareness program
  • require each employee to notify the University of any criminal conviction for violations occurring in the workplace
  • impose sanctions or remedial actions for convicted employees

As a result of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, a court of law may suspend or terminate an individual’s eligibility for federal benefits, including student financial assistance, if that individual is convicted of certain drug offenses.

As a University employee, the Drug Free Workplace Act requires you to notify your supervisor (for example, Department Director or Principal Investigator) if you are convicted of any workplace-related criminal drug violation. You must notify your supervisor within five calendar days after the conviction. Failure to report a conviction may be grounds for dismissal.

Grantees, whether the University or individuals, must report in writing to the contracting or granting agency within 10 calendar days of receiving notice of the conviction.

Violations of the Drug Free Workplace Act can result in:

  • disciplinary action, including dismissal
  • suspension of payments under the grant
  • suspension or termination of the grant
  • suspension or debarment of the grantee

Information about Alcohol and Drugs (PDF)

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