Maryland law states that: (1) It is unlawful for any minor (a person under age 21) to possess or consume alcoholic beverages; (2) It is unlawful for any minor to misrepresent or lie about his/her age in order to obtain alcoholic beverages; (3) It is unlawful for any person to obtain alcoholic beverages on behalf of a minor; (4) It is unlawful for any person to consume alcoholic beverages in an open outside area unless authorized to do so by proper officials; (5) A person may not be intoxicated and endanger the safety of another person or property or be intoxicated and cause a public disturbance.
It is the responsibility of all faculty, staff, and students at St. Mary’s College to uphold the conditions of this state law. Please refer to the College’s Medical Amnesty and Good Samaritan policy where certain violations may be granted amnesty. The College also promotes an active, healthy, social life on campus and accommodates groups that request College facilities for events where alcohol is appropriate.
The Office of Public Safety and the dean of students’ staff is responsible for interpreting and enforcing the following campus alcohol policy:
- No individual, regardless of age, may consume alcoholic beverages in public areas on the campus, such as the lounges, hallways of the residence halls, patios of townhouses, athletic fields, and other facilities and grounds.
- No individual, regardless of age, may be intoxicated and cause a disturbance and/or endanger the safety of him/herself, another person, and/or property.
- The sponsors of student events (dances, concerts, etc.) are responsible for keeping the event alcohol-free.
- Individuals or groups sponsoring formal or informal events off-campus are responsible for upholding the Maryland alcohol law.
- Resident students of legal drinking age may possess and consume alcoholic beverages in the privacy of their rooms or townhouses. All alcohol must be kept within the possession of the 21-year-old student. Students who are 21 years of age may not offer or provide alcohol to those who are underage, including roommates. It is assumed that alcohol possessed by of-age students is for their personal use and for limited distribution to others who are of age to consume alcohol. Students who are of age and who choose to drink alcohol are strongly encouraged to drink responsibly and in moderation. Kegs and other similar multi-liter containers are prohibited.
- No alcoholic beverages will be allowed at any event on campus unless: (1) The event is sponsored by the College for seniors, alumni, faculty-staff receptions, or any outside group; and (2) The event is held in a controlled space, such as the Alumni Lodge. Requests to sponsor such events must be made through the Events Office and must be approved by the dean of students. College budget accounts (including SGA funds) are by definition State dollars and may not be used to purchase alcohol or provide adult beverage service in any circumstance.
Legal sanctions under state law: It is illegal in the state of Maryland for any person under 21 to falsify or misrepresent his or her age to obtain alcohol, or to possess alcoholic beverages with the intent to consume them. It is also illegal in most situations to furnish alcohol to a person under 21. The penalty is a fine of up to $500 for a first offense, and up to $1000 for repeat offenses.
Students who are concerned about their use of alcohol or other drugs may speak with a counselor in Counseling Services for an assessment. Counseling Services are confidential and the staff therapist will recommend options for risk reduction, treatment and recovery. Students can find information about the health risks of alcohol use here.
Every two years, St. Mary’s College of Maryland will review its alcohol and drug prevention program to determine its effectiveness, implement any needed changes, and ensure that student conduct sanctions are consistently enforced. The most recent Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Biennial Review Report is available here.