Alcohol and Other Controlled Substances

General Alcohol Policies and Expectations

As an academic community, The College of Idaho is concerned about how alcohol can potentially interfere with the educational development of our students, interrupt their academic programs, injure their health, adversely affect others in our community, or irreparably prevent them from entering into a successful career.  The College of Idaho expects students, faculty and staff to know and respect all campus alcohol policies and statutes of the state of Idaho that govern the possession and use of alcoholic beverages.  Campus alcohol policies include, but are not limited to, those described here in the Student Handbook.

  • Individuals must be at least 21 years of age to consume, possess, furnish or serve alcoholic beverages. It is against the law and College policy to provide alcohol to anyone under the legal drinking age. 
  • Alcohol is permitted only in residence hall rooms where all students are legal-aged.  Consumption of alcohol must take place with the door closed.  All persons in a room must be 21 in order for open and/or visible containers of alcohol to be present.  Alcohol must be stored out of sight and in a sealed container if guests in a room of a legal-aged student are under 21.
  • Open containers of alcohol are prohibited in all public areas and on campus grounds (including College-owned houses) unless authorized by the Dean of Students or his/her designee in accordance with the Registered Campus Event process.  (See Registered Event Where Alcohol is Served under the Student Involvement section of the Student Handbook.)
  • Common source alcohol containers (i.e., kegs, beer balls, trash cans of punch, etc.) are prohibited.  Bulk container violations are considered a serious violation and may result in disciplinary action unless approved through the event registration process.
  • Any member of the The College of Idaho community who is not of legal drinking age may not possess alcohol-related paraphernalia (e.g. beer bong, funnel, empty bottles, etc.).
  • Possession, use, manufacture, or sale of a false identification card for the purpose of dispensing or purchasing alcohol is prohibited and against the law.
  • Intoxication is not an acceptable justification for irresponsible or inappropriate behavior.
  • The possession, use, distribution, and/or sale of any substances defined by law as a controlled substance and/or any drug paraphernalia are prohibited.

Those of legal age who consume alcoholic beverages are expected to do so in moderation and in a manner that ensures other community members' rights to privacy, work, sleep and study.  Loud or disruptive behavior, interference with cleanliness or drinking habits that are disruptive or injurious to the health or education of individuals will not be tolerated and will result in disciplinary action.  Violations may result in the student's suspension from the residence halls or from the college.

In accordance with the Higher Education Act of 1998, the college reserves the right to contact the parent(s) or guardian(s) of students under the age of 21 involved in violation of college alcohol policies.  Parent(s) or guardian(s) of students over the age of 21 may be contacted if the student's alcohol use becomes a health/safety concern.    Information and services (e.g. assessment, referral and counseling) are available through the Residence Life office, Wellness Center (counselors and nurse) and Campus Safety office.

Campus/Student Events

In addition to the General Alcohol Policies and Expectations above, these policies and expectations apply to all college functions that involve students.  If an event will not include students, organizers are still expected to reference and utilize policies and expectations as general guidelines.

An official college function is defined as any on or off campus event that is led by college employees or students, advertised on campus, and held under the auspices of registered campus organizations.

  • Individuals/groups who host social events where alcohol is served are responsible for ensuring all applicable policies and laws are enforced.  Social hosts may also be held responsible for the conduct of their guests and for any damage (direct or indirect) that may occur as a result of the event.
  • Alcohol may only be served at official college functions by the college's food service provider.
  • Student events with alcohol may only serve beer and wine and must have non-alcoholic options and food available for the duration of alcohol service.
  • Advertising the presence of alcohol, via email, web sites, posters, etc., at an on or off campus event is only allowed for officially recognized college events with approval of the Dean of Students or designee.
  • Student fee funds may not be used to purchase alcohol.
  • There is a 3 drink no-host maximum per student of legal drinking age for all student sponsored or co-sponsored events.

Religious Events

The College of Idaho is widely supportive of various religious traditions and the participation of our students in religious celebrations.  There is, however, the potential that an appropriate religious celebration will include the use of alcohol.  In these cases, the college must affirm its commitment to religious freedom while at the same time meeting its obligations to the law and to the safety of our students.  Therefore, when a proposed religious event necessitates the inclusion of alcohol, the college will consult with the officiating clergy to determine the minimum amount of alcohol required for the appropriate celebration.  Only that amount of alcohol will be permitted.  Responsible ritual use of alcohol is to be communicated and reasonable precautions taken to ensure adherence; intoxication is never the intent.  Alternatives need to be provided alongside the alcoholic beverages for minors and others who desire not to partake of alcohol.  This policy applies to events both on campus and off campus when they are led by College employees, advertised on campus, and held under the auspices of registered campus organizations.

Study Abroad Trips

Study abroad opportunities are an enriching component of a College of Idaho education, and our faculty-led trips are a great way for students to learn about, and personally experience, a different culture.  As cultural norms and laws concerning alcohol differ from country to country, the college believes that faculty and students who participate in a study abroad trip should adhere to the widely accepted norms and laws of the host country.  Although faculty should not feel obligated to enforce the laws of Idaho and the United States when in another country, it is advisable that faculty remain cognizant of our societal norms and that they do not purchase or make alcohol available to underage students.

College Employees

No employee of The College of Idaho may host an event for our students, on or off campus that permits, encourages, or creates the conditions for alcohol abuse or consumption by students under the lawful drinking age.  College employees are expected to be familiar with and strictly adhere to these alcohol policies.  This document outlines The College of Idaho's expectations for college-related alcohol events, but ultimately it is the responsibility of every faculty and staff member to take reasonable precautions to avoid putting students, other employees, guests of the college, themselves, and/or the college at risk.  A violation of the alcohol policies for the failure to exercise reasonable care regarding college employees' responsibilities under this policy may lead to reprimand, termination from employment, or other legal action.

Other College Social Functions

From time to time, alcoholic beverages may be served at College social functions, which may be defined as "closed events" or "invitational events" at which the majority of guests are expected to be age 21 or over.  Examples include faculty socials, Board of Trustee events, alumni and other events.  Although the guidelines set forth above for student events should be referenced and followed to the extent practical and reasonable, the event does not require registration as a Campus Event.  However, the organizer or host has the responsibility to see that all legal requirements are observed and that the College guidelines, as stated above, are considered, and that all guests act responsibly.  Further, events where alcoholic beverages are provided on campus may justify the services of an independent caterer who should be requested to furnish its own liability insurance and provide the CFO/VP for Student Affairs and Dean of Students with written proof of insurance coverage in advance of the event.

Idaho Alcohol Statutes

The following is a summary of applicable Idaho statutes.  For more information, contact the Student Affairs Office, the Caldwell Police Department or the Idaho Liquor Control Board.

  • Legal Drinking Age (Idaho Code 23-949):  Any person under the age of 21 who shall purchase, attempt to purchase, possess, serve, dispense, or consume beer, wine, or other alcoholic liquor shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable according to the schedule set out in Idaho Code 18-1502.

    Every person convicted of a misdemeanor under this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000.  The second conviction shall be punished by a fine of not more than $2,000 or up to 30 days in jail or both.  The third and subsequent convictions shall be punished by a fine of not more than $3,000 or up to 60 days in jail or both.

  • Disposal of Alcohol to Minors, Minors in Possession, Minor in Consumption (Idaho Code 23-603): Any person who shall sell, give, or furnish, or cause to be sold, given, or furnished, alcoholic or intoxicating liquor to a person under the age of 21, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.  A second or subsequent violation of this section by the same defendant shall constitute a felony.

  • Adult in the Presence of a Minor Consuming Alcohol/Encouraging Violations of the Youth Rehabilitation Act (Idaho Code 16-1817 and 20-526):  If a person of legal age is in the presence of a juvenile who is drinking an alcoholic beverage and fails to take action, the adult is considered to be "contributing to the delinquency of a minor."

  • Driving While Intoxicated (Idaho Code 18-8004):  It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other intoxicating substances, or who has an alcohol concentration of 0.08, or more to drive a motor vehicle upon public or private property open to the public.

  • Driving While Intoxicated by Underaged Persons/Zero Tolerance Statute (Idaho Code 18-8004-1d):  It is unlawful for any person under the age of 21 who has an alcohol concentration of at least 0.02, but less than 0.08, to drive a motor vehicle upon public or private property open to the public.

Whenever a person pleads guilty or is found guilty of violating any law pertaining to the possession, use, procurement, attempted procurement or dispensing of any beer, wine, or other alcoholic beverage, and such person was under 21 years of age at the time of such violation, then in addition to the above penalties, the court shall suspend the person's driving privileges for a period of not more than one year.

Second, or subsequent violations shall result in the suspension of the person's driving privileges for a period of not more than two years, and/or the surrender of his license or permit to the court, and the court may also order the person to undergo and complete an alcohol evaluation and to complete an alcohol treatment or education program (Idaho Code 18-1502).


In the statutes of the State of Idaho within the "Uniform Controlled Substances" section, marijuana is one of a great number of substances included within the Schedule I and II categories. The code prescribes the imposition of fines up to and including $10,000 and/or prison sentences of up to five years for a felony conviction of possessing marijuana in an amount greater than three ounces net weight. Lesser amounts may constitute reduced penalties or a misdemeanor. Violations of Section 37 of Idaho Code with respect to a controlled substance, which is classified as a narcotic drug, or a controlled substance in Schedule II, may be subject to fines up to and including $20,000 and prison sentences up to life imprisonment. Drug convictions also have other ramifications for students. After July 1, 2000, students convicted of offenses involving possession or sale of controlled substances are ineligible to receive any grant, loan or work assistance for a specified period of time.

Ineligibility period for possession of a controlled     substance:                                                                                                                                                                             1st  Offense 1 year                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2nd Offense 2 years                                                                                                                                                                                                                       3rd Offense Indefinite

Ineligibility period for sale of a controlled substance:                                                                                                                1st  Offense 2 years                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     2nd 2nd Offense Indefinite

Violations of Federal and Idaho state laws regarding drugs are also violations of The College of Idaho Policy and are subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension or permanent dismissal from the College.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               As a guide to students, the following statements are offered:

  • Drug misuse includes, but is not limited to, possession, using, selling, giving away, dispensing, mixing, administering, aiding or assisting others in such activities.
  • If a drug case is initiated in civil court rather than on the campus, serious college sanctions may await disposition of the case in the court.  The college's policies are however, separate from those established by Federal or Idaho state statute.
  • While empowered only to take action within its own provinces, the college will cooperate with the law enforcement agencies in accordance with statutory procedures.
  • Conversely, as an educational institution rather than a law enforcement agency, the college recognizes the appropriateness of handling certain drug problems individually and from a counseling and medical, rather than from a punitive, point of view.
  • Students are urged to reflect very seriously upon their own attitudes and actions with regard to drug abuse and to seek out information and counseling assistance through the college counselor, the Dean of Student Affairs, or other personnel as may seem most appropriate.

Parent Notification                                                                                                                                                                        In accordance with the High Education Act of 1998, the college reserves the right to contact the parent(s), or guardian(s) of students involved in violations of college controlled substances policies or in the event of a life threatening situation.