Alcohol and Other Drugs

Some safety-related incidents, from sexual assaults to injuries to fires, may occur to those who are under the influence of alcohol and other drugs.

When inhibitions are down, judgment becomes impaired and people are much more likely to take unwise risks.

  • If an emergency occurs and you are under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, your response is slowed. Will you be able to properly seek help? If you get hurt, will you know what to do?
  • Many victims and /or perpetrators of sexual assault are under the influence when an incident occurs. Make smart choices to keep yourself out of these situations
  • Giving or selling your legal prescription medications to another is dangerous and illegal. If someone in possession of your prescription overdoses, there could be legal consequences
  • According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), up to 40% of residential fire death victims were under the influence of alcohol at the time
  • Do not get behind the wheel if you have been drinking! Do not feel pressured to be a passenger in a vehicle where the driver is under the influence. There are plenty of other options to return back to campus or home safely

Date Rape Drugs

Drugs such as GHB and Rohypnol (roofies), are odorless and tasteless, making it easy for someone to slip them into your drink. These drugs cause loss of inhibitions, drowsiness, and slurred speech for 4 to 6 hours.

  • Never leave a drink unattended
  • Never drink from a punch bowl
  • Never accept drinks from strangers

We strongly believe in alcohol education and ask you check out the Fitchburg State University Alcohol Policy.

Consequences of Marijuana Use on Campus in Massachusetts

The legal status of marijuana changed on December 15, 2016 in Massachusetts. As university police officers, appointed under G.L. c. 22C, § 63, we strive to be fair in our enforcement decisions, which must reflect the laws of the Commonwealth and the rules of the institution of higher learning we protect and serve.

Massachusetts law, G.L. c. 94G, §2 allows our administration to create rules and prohibit, on our campus, otherwise legal behavior concerning marijuana. Under federal law, marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance having no acceptable medical or recreational use. 21 U.S.C. § 812(c).4 The Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Act (DFSCA) requires universities to prohibit marijuana possession, use, or distribution by students, faculty and staff. Colleges and universities that receive financial aid, grants and other federal funding must comply with the DFSCA and its related federal regulations —even in states that have legalized marijuana. Noncompliance could result in our institution losing federal funding. Title 34 CFR Subtitle A, Part 86, § 86.1-86.7, and 86.300-86.304.56.

Finally, to assist us in promoting a healthy, safe environment for our entire community we provide the following guide that outlines the Consequences of Marijuana Use on Campus in Massachusetts.

When it comes to alcohol and intoxication, the law is very clear.

Social Host Law

A Social host is anyone who is in control of the premises and who furnishes alcohol or allows it to be consumed on those premises. This includes those whose names are on the lease.

You may be found financially responsible in a Civil Court if an underage guest injures another person (or themselves) after having consumed alcohol, if you controlled the supply of the alcohol, made it available, allowed its consumption on your property, or served it.

When it comes to underage drinking, the law is clear. If you are under 21 years old, you may not consume alcohol. If you have a party, you may not provide, give, or allow any of your guests who are under 21 to possess alcohol.

Minor in Possession

Individuals found in violation may face criminal and/ or internal university sanctions.

Protective Custody

Officers do care about your well-being and safety. When we are called to respond to an intoxicated individual who is no longer able to care for themselves due to their intoxicated state, or if they may become a danger to themselves or others, Officers have the option under Massachusetts General Law 111b.8 to place the individual under protective custody.

As stated in the law, the individual will be held for up to 12 hours or until sober and has the right to make a telephone call at their expense and take a Breathalyzer to determine the level of intoxication. The results of the breathalyzer are used to determine the individual level of intoxication and to determine when the individual can be safely released prior to the 12 hour maximum hold time. If an individual is deemed to be too intoxicated, hospitalization is always the best recourse. Alcohol is a poisonous substance and the hospital has the means to address alcohol poisoning.

If a student is placed into protective custody, they may be released to a sober family member. Individuals placed into protective custody WILL NOT be released to the following individuals for liability sake:

  • Members of the Fitchburg State University community which include students and staff
  • Anyone under the age of 18 years old
  • Anyone who is deemed to be under the influence of alcohol or other drugs