Policy on Alcohol & Other Drugs

For all members of the Georgetown community:

Georgetown University ’s policies on alcohol and other drugs reflect the requirements of applicable laws and impose additional sanctions and penalties for violations by students, faculty, and staff.


No person under age 21 shall drink, possess, purchase or attempt to purchase an alcoholic beverage. Likewise, no person, regardless of age, shall serve, offer, give, purchase, provide or in any way make available alcoholic beverages to any persons who are under 21. Persons who are 21 or older may possess, serve and consume alcohol only in University facilities where permitted and only when they have first received any permissions and licenses required under University policies and applicable laws.


The possession, use, manufacturing and/or distribution of illegal drugs, as defined under D.C. and federal law, are prohibited at all times on University property, in University vehicles, or in connection with any University activity or business.


Employees and students who violate the University’s policies will be subject to disciplinary actions by the University, which may include suspension, referral for prosecution, permanent separation from the University, or any other action the University deems appropriate.


University policies on alcohol and other drugs that are particular to Main Campus students may be found on the Student Affairs website and within the Student Code of Conduct. Of particular note are the University regulations on alcoholic beverages in student areas, including on-campus housing, off-campus houses and apartments, and offices and clubrooms; policies on parties, kegs, and party notification; policies on serving alcohol at events; and sanctions for violations of the alcohol and drug policies, which include fines, residence hall suspension, parental notification, move from an apartment into a traditional residence hall, recommendation for counseling or rehabilitation, disciplinary probation, suspension, and dismissal from the University.

School of Medicine students should refer to the School of Medicine Student Handbook and Law Center students should refer to the Georgetown Law Conduct PoliciesLaw Center Alcohol Policies, and the Gewirz Student Center Handbook for information specific to their campuses.


In addition to the policies governing all members of the Georgetown community, all University employees are governed by the Drug-Free Workplace policy, which states that it is a condition of continued employment that all employees must be drug-free in the workplace. Staff and Academic Administrative Professionals are bound by the Professional Conduct policy, which states that being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs and/or possessing or selling illegal drugs when reporting to work, while on the job, or in connection with carrying out job responsibilities are strictly prohibited. Additionally, employees who operate motor vehicles must comply with the Human Resources policy on Controlled Substance and Alcohol Use Prohibition and Testing for Motor Vehicle Operators.

Violations of these policies by University administrators, faculty or staff will be referred to the appropriate department head or supervisor who, in accordance with University policies and procedures, will determine the course of action necessary.

Faculty and staff should also visit the website of the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program for additional information about drug-free schools and communities.



In the District of Columbia:

  • It is unlawful to consume or possess an alcoholic beverage in an open container in a public area (such as a street, alley, park or sidewalk), a vehicle in a public area, or a place of business not licensed to sell alcoholic beverages. Violations of this provision may result in a fine of up to $500 and/or a prison term of up to 90 days (D.C. Code § 25-1001).
  • Persons under age 21 are prohibited from possessing, drinking, purchasing or attempting to purchase an alcoholic beverage. Persons are also prohibited from falsely representing their age in an attempt to purchase alcohol or enter an establishment where alcohol is served. Violations of this law may result in a fine of up to $1,000 and suspension of driving privileges for up to one year (D.C. Code § 25-1002).
  • Persons who purchase, sell or in any other way deliver alcoholic beverages to persons under 21 may be fined up to $10,000 and/or imprisoned for up to one year (D.C. Code §§ 25-781, 25-785).

In the District of Columbia:

  • Knowing or intentional possession of many controlled substances (other than pursuant to a valid prescription), is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or 180 days’ imprisonment.
  • The intentional manufacture, distribution, or possession with intent to manufacture or distribute a controlled substance is punishable by prison terms ranging from 180 days to 30 years and/or fines ranging from $1,000 to $75,000 (D.C. Code § 48-904.01). Controlled substances are defined in D.C. Code § 48-901.02 and include, but are not limited to, drugs such as cocaine, crack, PCP, LSD, and other narcotics.
  • Persons of ages 21 and over who are found to have distributed a controlled substance to anyone under age 18 are subject to even heavier penalties (D.C. Code § 48-904.06).
  • Persons of ages 21 and over who are found to have enlisted, hired, contracted or encouraged an individual under age 18 to distribute or sell any controlled substance are subject to an additional fine of up to $50,000 and an additional prison term of up to 20 years (D.C. Code § 48-904.07).
  • A finding that an individual has attempted or conspired to commit any of these offenses subjects the individual to the same fines and terms of imprisonment as if the crime were actually committed (D.C. Code § 48-904.09).
  • The possession, sale or delivery of drug paraphernalia to prepare or use illegal controlled substances is prohibited and punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and/or a prison term of up to 8 years. The use or possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia is punishable by a $100 fine or a prison term of up to 30 days. Drug paraphernalia includes pipes; tubes; roach clips; cocaine spoons and vials; hypodermic needles; bongs; ice pipes or chillers; scales used to weigh or measure controlled substances; blenders, bowls, containers, and any other devices used for mixing or compounding a controlled substance; and capsules, balloons, envelopes and any other containers used to package, use or store a controlled substance (D.C. Code §§ 48-1101, 48-1103).
  • It is a violation of federal law to possess, manufacture, or distribute a controlled substance. Defined by federal statute, controlled substances include, but are not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, PCP, LSD, and other narcotics. A student or employee found guilty of possessing a controlled substance may be subject to some or all of the following sanctions under federal law:
  • First conviction: Up to one year imprisonment and a fine of at least $1,000, or both.
  • With one prior state or federal drug conviction: At least 15 days in prison, not to exceed two years and fined at least $2,500, or both.
  • After two or more prior drug convictions: At least 90 days in prison, not to exceed three years, and/or a fine of at least $5,000 (21 U.S.C. § 844(a)).

Federal law may require the forfeiture of property used to possess or to facilitate possession of a controlled substance (21 U.S.C. § 881(a)), and the forfeiture of vehicles, boats, aircraft or any other conveyances used to transport or conceal a controlled substance (21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(4)). In addition, any individual who knowingly possesses a controlled substance may be assessed a civil fine of up to $10,000 (21 U.S.C. § 844a).

Upon a drug conviction, the federal government may also deny or revoke federal benefits, such as student loans, grants, contracts, and professional and commercial licenses, for up to one year for first offense, and up to five years for second and subsequent offenses, (21 U.S.C. § 862(b)).

Persons convicted for the manufacture and/or distribution of controlled substances are subject to increased fines, jail time, and ineligibility for or revocation of federal benefits (21 U.S.C. §§ 841, 862).

Students who are convicted under any state or federal law for possessing or selling a controlled substance while they are receiving any federal grant, loan, or work assistance will not be eligible to receive the aid for the following time periods:

  Possession Sale
1st Offense 1 Year 2 Years
2nd Offense 2 Years Indefinite
3rd Offense Indefinite Indefinite

Students may resume eligibility earlier if: (1) they complete a drug rehabilitation program that includes two unannounced drug tests and otherwise meets Department of Education requirements; (2) they pass two unannounced drug tests administered by an approved drug rehabilitation program; or (3) if the conviction is reversed, set aside or otherwise rendered invalid (20 U.S.C. § 1091(r)).