Alcohol Regulations

I. Statement of Purpose

SUNY Potsdam recognizes that a responsible attitude towards the use of alcoholic beverages is a desirable goal and should be encouraged by College policy. These regulations are to act as guidelines to provide members of the College community with an opportunity to develop a realistic and reasoned approach to alcohol use. They presume adherence to New York State Law and respect for the rights of all others in the College community. It is important to note that College policy does not recognize misuse of alcoholic beverages as an excuse for misconduct of any kind.

The SUNY Potsdam Alcohol Regulations apply to all members of the College community and their guests. They are in effect for all campus buildings and the College grounds. They are meant to provide a framework through which responsible use of alcohol is a prime objective.

II. State and Local Alcohol Regulations

A. New York State Law
New York State has taken major steps to deal with alcohol abuse. The penalties for “Driving While Ability Impaired” and “Driving While Intoxicated” have increased substantially (including fines, suspension or revocation of license, imprisonment.) The best advice: If you drink, don’t drive.

It is a crime in New York State to purchase alcoholic beverages for, or to give alcohol to, a person under 21 years of age. The legislature has passed several bills to substantially increase penalties for these offenses.

Effective December 1985, the minimum legal age for purchase of alcoholic beverages became 21. The College must comply with State law.

Effective October, 1989, a person under the age of 21 who presents an altered New York State driver’s license for the purpose of illegally purchasing an alcoholic beverage may be subject to a suspension of that driver’s license for up to 90 days and may also be required to apply to the Department of Motor Vehicles for a restricted use driver’s license following the suspension.

Effective November 1989, persons under the age of 21 who present falsified or fraudulently altered proofs of age for the purpose of purchasing or attempting to purchase alcoholic beverages are guilty of a violation.

Effective January 1990, persons under the age of 21 are prohibited from possessing any alcoholic beverage with intent to consume the beverage. Alcoholic beverages involved in alleged violations of this law may be seized by authorized law enforcement officials, including University Police.

B. Civil Liability
General Obligations Law of New York State Section 11-100 provides for civil liability against any person knowingly causing intoxication of a person under 21 years of age by furnishing alcoholic beverages to that person or by aiding such a person in procuring alcoholic beverages. Section 11-100 (Dram Act) provides for civil liability against any person selling or procuring alcoholic beverages for an intoxicated person regardless of age.

C. Village of Potsdam
It is a violation in the Village of Potsdam to possess an open container that contains or has contained alcoholic beverages on a street, in a parking lot, on a highway, on a sidewalk, in other public places or in a motor vehicle. This applies equally to the campus premises.

III. General Regulations

A.  The College will not accept use of alcohol as an excuse for misconduct.

B.  The violation of New York State law and the ordinances of the Village of Potsdam regarding the use and possession of alcohol is a violation of SUNY Potsdam regulations. New York State law regarding DWI and DWAI is applicable to all College property and the violation of same on College property constitutes a violation of these regulations.

C.  Misconduct on College property resulting from the use of alcohol constitutes a violation of these regulations, which may result in penalty as set forth in Article VI.

D.  Possession of any alcoholic beverage by a person under the age of 21 is expressly forbidden unless as required by that person’s employment responsibilities.

E.  Referrals of alcohol abusers to an appropriate campus program or to the St. Lawrence County Alcohol Referral Service may be a provision of any penalty or sanction for violation of these regulations.

F.  No vendor shall deliver, or cause to have delivered, alcoholic beverages to the campus except where such delivery is made to a licensed vendor (i.e. PACES).

G.  Any violation(s) of these regulations shall be dealt with in accordance with Article VI.

H.  Alcoholic beverage restrictions are determined by the policy governing the type of area in which alcohol is to be involved (i.e. Thatcher Hall, residence hall room) rather than the type of event (i.e. party, function).

IV. Regulation of Alcoholic Functions

A.  Campus-wide Regulations

  1. Reasonable amounts of solid, substantial food and non-alcoholic beverages must be available.
  2. Availability of alcoholic beverages in PACES leased facilities will be authorized by the Director of Dining Services, or designee, in consultation with the appropriate building administrator. The duration of alcohol service at an event will be determined by the vendor (PACES) as part of their responsibility as a license holder.
  3. The College reserves the right to charge supervisory fees, cleaning and damage deposits for the use of College facilities. Fees are payable in advance.
  4. Outdoor functions must be approved by the Associate Director of Campus Life.
  5. The primary thrust of an activity should not be drinking alcoholic beverages. Advertising should promote a realistic activity and advertising will be limited to designated, controlled and appropriate places.
  6. The number of persons attending a function is limited to the legal limit of the area.

B.  Residence Hall Regulations - See the section on Residence Hall Living

V. Application Procedure

Sale and/or Service of Alcohol

The only group that may sell or serve alcohol on the College premises is PACES (by contract with the State University of New York). The only areas licensed for regular sale of alcoholic beverages are the Barrington Student Union and Thatcher Hall and the Student Union Patio.  All other areas require that PACES purchase a one-day caterer’s permit from the New York State Liquor Authority. The permit must be visible at the event and no event will be held without this permit. This requires a significant lead time (presently 8 - 10 weeks - please check with the catering office for current information). The cost of this permit will be passed on to the sponsoring group. Failure to receive a permit may require the event to be moved to a licensed facility, if available.

VI. Enforcement Procedures

College groups and individuals not in compliance with this policy may be charged under the College disciplinary system.

VII. Policy Questions or Modifications

Questions or suggestions concerning the sale and/or service of alcohol on campus should be made to the Director of Dining Services. Questions concerning alcohol regulations or suggestions for modification of these policies should be made to the Chief Student Affairs Office or designee.