Drug and Alcohol Policy

VIU is committed to providing an environment free of alcohol and drug abuse in compliance with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act and the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Virginia International University does not condone the illegal or otherwise irresponsible use of alcohol and other drugs. It is the responsibility of every member of the VIU community to know the risks associated with substance use and abuse. This responsibility obligates students and employees to know all relevant VIU policies, and federal, state, and local laws and to conduct themselves in accordance with those laws and policies. To ensure the availability of this information, the University publishes the following information regarding VIU policies and sanctions; laws and penalties associated with substance use and abuse; health and behavioral risks of drug use; and resources for treatment and educational programming. The dissemination of this information is in support of the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act and the Clery Act.

Alcohol Policy
VIU hopes the Alcohol Policy will encourage students and employees to make responsible decisions regarding the consumption of alcoholic beverages. As such, VIU is a dry campus and expressly prohibits the sale, consumption, or use of alcoholic beverages on any VIU property.

All members of the VIU community are expected to know and act in accordance with Virginia laws concerning the purchase, possession, consumption, sale, and storage of alcoholic beverages. However, ignorance of the law is not a viable defense. Thus, the VIU community is reminded of the following:

  1. Any sale of an alcoholic beverage requires an ABC license.
  2. Alcoholic beverages are not to be given or sold to persons who are under the legal drinking age, which is 21 years of age.
  3. Alcoholic beverages are not to be given to persons who are intoxicated.
  4. State law prohibits drinking in unlicensed public places; public intoxication; possession of an alcoholic beverage by someone under the legal drinking age; falsely representing one’s age for the purpose of procuring alcohol; and purchasing an alcoholic beverage for a person who is under the legal drinking age.
  5. Violations of state alcohol laws are criminal misdemeanors punishable by fines up to $2,500, imprisonment up to 12 months, and suspension of a driver’s license.
  6. The use of alcoholic beverages as a prize in a contest, drawing, lottery, etc., is prohibited.
  7. The use of alcoholic games (e.g., quarters, drink-offs, beer-pong, etc.) is prohibited.
  8. VIU recognizes the value of group-sponsored social events that take place off-campus. VIU acknowledges that some of these group-sponsored events that take place off-campus may be at establishments that serve alcohol. VIU does not prohibit the consumption of alcohol at these events. However, groups or individual group members may be held accountable for the underage possession or consumption of alcohol, and unsafe or irresponsible behavior that occurs during a group-sponsored event.
    Unsafe behavior includes, but is not limited to, consuming alcohol through beer bongs, participating or facilitating drinking games, or consuming an excessive quantity of alcohol in a short amount of time. Irresponsible behavior includes, but is not limited to, the use or attempted use of fraudulent identification to obtain alcohol or making alcohol available to underage persons.
  9. VIU funds may not be used to purchase or obtain alcohol.

Members of the VIU community, and their invited guests, who reside in property leased by VIU who are lawfully permitted to purchase, possess, and consume alcohol, may do so in the residence.

Any member of the University community who violates state alcohol laws is subject to disciplinary action. Whether or not criminal charges are brought, all students are subject to disciplinary action for any violation of state alcohol laws that occurs:

  1. On VIU owned, controlled, or leased property;
  2. At VIU sponsored functions; or
  3. Under other circumstances involving a direct and substantial connection to the University.

Any student found to have engaged in such conduct is subject to the entire range of sanctions, including suspension and expulsion.

Students and recognized student organizations are always expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia and to assume full responsibility for their activities and events.

Drug Policy
The unauthorized manufacture, sale, distribution, and possession of “controlled substances” (illegal drugs), including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and LSD, are prohibited by both state and federal law and are punishable by severe penalties. VIU does not tolerate or condone such conduct.

Any member of the University community who violates state or federal drug laws is subject to disciplinary action. Whether or not criminal charges are brought, all students are subject to disciplinary action for any violation of state or federal laws that occurs:

  1. On VIU owned, controlled, or leased property;
  2. At VIU sponsored functions; or
  3. Under other circumstances involving a direct and substantial connection to the University.

Any student found to have engaged in such conduct is subject to the entire range of sanctions, including suspension and expulsion. Students and employees who are found to be in violation of state or federal drug laws may be referred to the appropriate authorities for criminal prosecution.

Health and Behavioral Risks
The negative physical and mental effects of the use of alcohol and other drugs are well-documented. Use of these drugs may cause: blackouts, poisoning and overdose; physical and psychological dependence; damage to vital organs such as the brain, heart and liver; inability to learn and remember information; and psychological problems including depression, psychosis and severe anxiety. Other risks include impaired judgment and coordination which can lead to: DUI/DWI arrests; hazing; falls, drowning and other injuries; contracting sexually-transmitted diseases including AIDS; and unwanted or unplanned sexual experiences and pregnancy.

The substance abuse of family members and friends may also be of concern to students and employees. Patterns of risk-taking behavior and dependency not only interfere in the lives of the abuser, but can also have a negative impact on the affected students' academic work, emotional well-being and adjustment to college life.

Assistance is available both on-campus and off-campus for students and employees who are dependent on, or who abuse alcohol or other drugs. Counseling services are available on-campus for students. Visit the website for counseling services or if you would like to make an appointment, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services’ Treatment Referral Routing Service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information. It is a confidential, free, 24/7/365 information service.
Hotline: 1-800-662-4357
Online treatment locators: https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/
Helpline website: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline
Organization website: https://www.samhsa.gov/

Federal and Commonwealth of Virginia Penalties
Federal and Virginia law penalizes the unlawful manufacturing, distribution, use, and possession of controlled substances, including prescription drugs. Synthetic designer drugs such as “bath salts,” “plant food,” and “carpet cleaner,” contain mixtures of many different chemicals, including those that resemble cocaine, methamphetamine, and MDMA or “ecstasy.” Federal law makes the distribution of “analogue” substances marketed for human consumption illegal if those substances are chemically similar to a scheduled illegal drug and have the same pharmacological effect on a user.

Federal law sets penalties for first offenses ranging from less than one year to life imprisonment and/or fines up to $10 million. Penalties may include forfeiture of property, including vehicles used to possess, transport or conceal a controlled substance, and the denial of professional licenses or federal benefits, such as student loans. The punishment for the possession and/or distribution of a controlled substance analogue is up to twenty years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.

Convictions under Virginia law may be misdemeanor or felony crimes with sanctions ranging from probation to life imprisonment and/or fines of up to $1 million. Virginia law specifically prohibits the sale, gift, distribution, and possession of synthetic cannabinoids, which carry penalties as a Class 6 felony.

Federal law holds that any person who distributes, possesses with intent to distribute, or manufactures a controlled substance in, or within one thousand feet of an educational facility is subject to a doubling of the applicable maximum punishments and fines. A similar Virginia law carries sanctions of between one and five years’ imprisonment and up to a $100,000 fine for similar violations.

Limited Amnesty
Virginia International University encourages the reporting of all potential violations of Prohibited Conduct under the Sexual Misconduct Policy. VIU does not condone underage alcohol consumption or the use of illegal drugs. However, because it is of the utmost importance of VIU to protect the wellbeing of its students and employees, VIU may extend limited amnesty from disciplinary action for the illegal consumption of alcohol or illegal drug use by victims, witnesses, and those reporting incidents or assisting victims of Prohibited Conduct. These individuals must have acted in good faith, and any such violation must not have placed the health or safety of any other person(s) at risk.

The Title IX Coordinator and the President, or their designees’, will determine if amnesty will be applied and to what extent. Alcohol and drug amnesty is intended to encourage students and employees to seek assistance for themselves and others by reducing the fear of facing VIU’s Students Rights & Responsibilities Policy/Employee Handbook Policies for such conduct. It is an attempt to remove barriers that may prevent an individual from reporting, seeking medical assistance, or other assistance.

Non-Smoking Policy
Smoking is not permitted within facilities owned or leased by the University nor in university-owned vehicles. Smoking is not permitted within 50 feet of any university facility