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Healthy Campus / Alcohol / FSU Alcohol Policy

FSU Alcohol Policy

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The Florida State University affirms the guiding ethical principle of responsible freedom. Students, staff and faculty are expected to show respect for order, ethical conduct, and the rights of others, and to model in daily living a high sense of personal honor and integrity. Florida State University neither encourages nor condemns the legal consumption of alcoholic beverages.

The university recognizes, however, that the majority of undergraduate students are below the legal drinking age and that there are serious health risks and behavior problems associated with the use of alcohol in the collegiate environment. Consequently, alcohol will be permitted at Florida State University or programs sponsored by Florida State University or its direct support organizations only in those settings which:

  1. Comply with federal or state laws, local ordinances, University regulations, foreign country laws (in the case of study abroad programs conducted by Florida State University International Programs, Inc.), Student Conduct Code, and this policy;
  2. Present minimal health and safety risks; and 
  3. In no way inhibit the full participation of those who choose not to drink alcohol.

Events and activities that encourage excessive drinking and/or lead to the endangerment of individuals will not be permitted. Any person or group in violation of federal or state laws, local ordinances, or of this policy will be reported to the proper federal, state, local or university authorities for appropriate action.


I. Policy Pertaining to All Members, Groups, Events, and Organizations in the University Community and Non-University Members, Groups, Events, and Organizations

(a.) No individual under the legal drinking age (minimum of 21 years of age permitted by the State of Florida or the minimum age prescribed by the    laws of foreign countries, but in no case below the age of 18 years of age) may serve, sell, consume or possess alcohol on university properties, except to the extent allowed by law within licensed premises or designated areas of the university.

(b.) Alcohol must be served by a licensed and insured third party vendor. No individual may serve or otherwise provide alcohol to persons under the legal drinking age

(c.) The Consumption of Alcohol: The consumption of alcohol on university properties will be restricted to the following areas:

     1. Florida State University Law School Rotunda;

     2. Licensed areas of the university (e.g., Center for Professional Development, Club Downunder, Crenshaw Lanes, Renegade Grill);

     3. Academic food service facilities;

     4. University Center areas including:

  • Sky boxes
  • Miller Hall (C3300, UC)
  • President’s Box (Level 7, UC)
  • Booster/Alumni Board Rooms (C5300, C5301 UC)
  • University Club (Building B, Floor 3, UC)
  • Meeting Rooms (Building B, Floors 5 & 6, UC)

     5. Lounges in Beth Moor at Longmire Building;

     6. WFSU-TV and Radio Broadcast Center;

     7. Premises in and around President’s house, Pearl Tyner Alumni Center, and surrounding grounds;

     8. University property not located on the main campus, which has been leased by the university to private entities or persons, referred to in this rule as “private premises,” such as Heritage Grove;

     9. Private university living quarters, including Alumni Village, where those present are of legal drinking age (see the Guide to Residence Living, Community Expectations, for further restrictions that may apply in residence halls; or in the case of living quarters provided for study abroad programs, see policies promulgated by Florida State University International Programs Association, Inc.);

    10. Premises in Doak Campbell Stadium area used or licensed for use on football game days;

    11. At the following sites, when provided in conjunction with an artistic or municipal event:

  • The Fine Arts Gallery;
  • The reception/hospitality room in the Opperman Music Hall;
  • The Fine Arts Building; and the
  • FSU Lab Theater.

    12. Werkmeister Reading Room (201 Dodd Hall)

    13. In common areas for special events approved by the University President or his/her designee. For faculty, the designee is the Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement (formerly known as the Dean of the Faculties), for student groups, the designee is the Vice President for Student Affairs, and for all other groups the designee is the Vice President for University Relations.

(d.) The Sale of Alcohol: The sale of alcohol on campus must be approved by the President or designee. Although the President or designee may approve the sale of alcohol on campus, only the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco can issue the permit required to sell alcohol in the State of Florida.

(e.) Promotional Guidelines: The promotion of activities or events shall not advertise alcohol or sponsorship by alcohol marketers without prior written approval of the Vice President for University Relations. Events that seek advertising approval must meet the following requirements:

  • Alcohol shall not be used as an inducement to participate in a university event and may not be offered as a prize or gift in any form of contest, drawing or competition. Social events which encourage  drinking, drinking contests, or drunkenness, and the advertisement of such events, are prohibited.
  • Alcohol advertising on campus or in campus media, including that which promotes events as well as product advertising, shall not portray drinking as a solution to personal or academic problems of students or as an enhancement to social, sexual, or academic status.
  • Advertising for any university event where alcoholic beverages are served shall mention the availability of non-alcoholic beverages as prominently as alcoholic beverages.
  • Promotional materials, including advertising for any university event, shall not make reference to the amount of alcoholic beverages available. This includes references to kegs or open bars.
  • Must adhere to University posting policy guidelines.

(f.) Florida State University Police shall be notified of all on campus events that are not regularly scheduled that plan to serve alcohol.

(g.) Laws and Regulations: All members of the campus community (students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests) must adhere to all applicable federal or state laws, local ordinances, and University regulations related to the sale and use of alcohol. They include, but are not limited to the following:

     1. It is unlawful for any person to aid or abet an underage person, as defined by Section 1 (a), in the purchase or attempt to obtain alcoholic beverages.

     2. It is unlawful for any underage person to falsify a driver’s license or other identification document in order to obtain or attempt to obtain alcoholic beverages.

     3. It is unlawful for any person to permit use of his/her driver’s license or any other identification document by an underage person to purchase or attempt to purchase alcoholic beverages.

     4. No person may bring any type of alcoholic beverage into a licensed facility or area, nor may any person take alcoholic beverages out of the licensed facility or area, except that a bottle of wine purchased, but not fully consumed, at the University Center Club or similar restaurant establishment on campus may be removed by the person after it has been re-corked as allowed by law.

     5. Transportation of all alcoholic beverages on campus shall be in unopened and unobservable containers.

     6. Damage to or destruction of property, or injury to person(s), which is caused by or can be shown to be related to the consumption of alcohol will be subject to disciplinary action, as will any other violation of this rule.


II. Guidelines for University Sponsored Events

Definition: Large public and formal events where the University acts in symbolic ways to honor, celebrate, and reward achievements central to its mission (e.g., graduation, convocation, dedications, awards, ceremonies). These events convey important values about what is central to the University. Florida State University is concerned with the image conveyed when alcohol service is included as part of these events.

All University Sponsored Events are subject to the guidelines outlined in Section I of the alcohol policy. In addition, the following restrictions apply;

(a.) Alcohol will not be served at any reception or other function, as defined above, sponsored by the University or taking place on the University campus where attendance is essentially open to the public and is not controlled by such means as individual invitation, registration, reservation and/or a fee payment process.

(b.) At those functions where attendance will be predominately alumni and friends of the university, and controlled by individual invitation, registration, reservation, or a fee payment process, alcoholic beverages may be served with the following restrictions:

  1. All persons will be required to show identification, including birth date, to ensure that they are a minimum of 21 years of age in the State of Florida;
  2. The right to refuse to serve anyone who seems to be in danger of over consumption will be reserved and used; and
  3. An ample supply and variety of food and non-alcoholic beverages will be available.

(c.) At university sponsored functions where attendance will be predominately students, no alcoholic beverages will be served, regardless of the degree of control exercised over attendance.


III. Guidelines for University Related Events

Definition: Any organization or group, consisting primarily of Florida State University students, employees, faculty or alumni, and/or which utilizes the Florida State University name or its premises, in which alcohol is served, must adhere to the following guidelines. These guidelines apply to all student organizations, whether or not they have received formal recognition or not. All University Related Events, on or off campus, are subject to the guidelines outlined in Section I of the alcohol policy. In addition, the following apply;

(a.) Sponsors are required to provide one or more alternative non-alcoholic beverage available in sufficient quantity throughout the event.

(b.) Non-alcoholic beverages must be available at the same place as the alcoholic beverages and featured as prominently as the alcoholic beverages.

(c.) If the alcoholic beverage is being sold, the alternative beverage should be available at a price equal to or less than the price of the alcohol being provided.

(d.) Wherever alcohol is present, food must also be in sufficient quantity throughout the event.

(e.) The cost of admission to an event may not include or cover the cost of alcoholic beverages.

(f.) No state appropriated, federal funds or A & S fees may be used to purchase or sell alcohol.

(g.) The burden of proof for showing legal age is placed upon the person desiring alcohol service. No service will be provided unless clear evidence of legal age is presented. Those of legal age and consuming alcohol will be identified by wrist bands, hand stamps, etc.

(h.) It is the responsibility of the serving establishment, at the time that an alcoholic beverage is requested, to check the picture ID. If, for any reason, proof of legal drinking age cannot be provided upon request, it is the responsibility of the server to deny the request.

(i.) At social functions where alcoholic beverages are served, direct access should be limited to a person(s) designated as the server(s) by a licensed insured vendor. Servers must not consume alcohol during the event.

(j.) The server shall refuse to serve anyone who seems to be in danger of over consumption will be reserved and used.

Any organization found not to be in compliance with the university alcohol policy at their event may be subject to university disciplinary action and may forfeit its right to any fee support from the university.


IV. Tailgate Events

Definition: Gatherings occurring in the designated parking areas surrounding the area of Doak Campbell Stadium prior to and after scheduled football games.

(a.) Florida State University does not support or condemn the consumption of alcohol by individuals 21 years of age or older at tailgate events.

(b.) Florida State University does not condone any act related to excessive consumption of alcohol that impairs, interferes, or endangers the safety or enjoyment of anyone attending these events, including the individual who chooses to consume alcohol.

(c.) Individuals who choose to consume alcohol are responsible for their behavior and should not operate a motor vehicle after they have consumed alcohol.


V. Administration and Enforcement of Policy

(a.) The Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement (formerly known as the Dean of the Faculties) is the responsible university official for administration of the alcohol policy for all events involving primarily faculty. The Vice President for Student Affairs is the responsible administrator for students and student groups. The Vice President for University Relations is the responsible university official for administration of the alcohol policy for events managed by the direct support organizations and for those involving all other groups and individuals. Changes and revisions shall be coordinated by the Vice President for Student Affairs in consultation with other Vice Presidents and the General Counsel, subject to final approval of the President of the University.

(b.) Enforcement of the alcohol policy shall reside in the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities for individual student and student organization cases, and the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement for faculty related violations. Enforcement of the alcohol policy for all other groups, including outside groups, organizations, and individuals shall reside in the Vice President for University Relations.

(c.) The University maintains the right to forward possible violations of federal or state laws, local ordinances, and University regulations, to the proper authorities through the Florida State University Police Department.


VI. Health Risks

Alcohol consumption may cause a number of changes in behavior which are related to dose, rate of intake, body size and percentage of body fluid, expectations, social environment, physical conditions (disease or, more commonly, hormonal cycles can be factors), enzyme differences, and concentration of alcohol in a drink. It may increase aggressiveness, lower inhibitions, cloud judgment, reduce resistance, and hamper the ability to make decisions.

Alcohol first affects the area of the brain responsible for higher functions, such as decision-making and social inhibitions, suppressing an individual's self-control. Alcohol in the blood can slow reaction time, reduce muscle coordination and impair eyesight, contributing to deficits in performance, judgment, memory, and motor skills. Even low doses can significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely. Florida State University reiterates that no one should ever drink alcohol and drive. The designated driver should never drink alcohol.

Moderate to high doses of alcohol may cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, altering a person’s ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol may produce the effects just described above.


VII. Educational Resources and Support

In support of responsible management of alcohol, the University provides numerous resources and support services available to students, faculty, and staff of Florida State University, including alcohol education, counseling, treatment, rehabilitation, re-entry, prevention, and intervention, as well as other educational programs and volunteer opportunities. Below are just a few of these resources and services.

(a.) Health Promotion at University Health Services (850) 644-8871;

(b.) Office of Residence Life (850) 644-2860;

(c.) FSU Police Department (850) 644-1234;

(d.) Volunteer opportunities for students seeking to work toward greater alcohol responsibility are available through Healthy Noles, which is an organization directed by Health Promotion at University Health Services. The Healthy Noles advocate for wellness on campus and alcohol responsibility is a significant component. For more information contact Health Promotion at (850) 644-8871; or access the application at

(e.) The Learning Resources Center of the College of Nursing has books, slides and videotapes on alcohol and other substances which are available to instructors in the College of Nursing. All other staff or faculty would need approval from the Dean of the College of Nursing to access these resources (850) 644-1291;

(f.) The Digital Media Center provides media resources, which include listings on alcohol topics, to all campus approved departments and organizations. There is no charge for this service when it is used for regularly scheduled classes (850) 644-5924;

(g.) SMART (Students Making Alcohol and Other Drug Responsibility Theirs) Choices consists of two, two-hour class sessions and an interactive on-line program at University Health Services that presents the legal and personal consequences of substance abuse. Students who are sanctioned by the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (850) 644-2428;  Dean of Students Department  or  University Housing  (850) 644-2860 for on or off-campus violations of the University’s alcohol and drug policy must complete the course. Students may also enroll in the course free of charge if they would simply like to gain more knowledge about alcohol. Students may contact  Health Promotion  at (850) 644-8871 if they would like to sign up. The purpose of the course is to introduce the student to a process of self-examination that may lead to improved decision making and behavior change.

(h.) The University Counseling Center (UCC) provides a structured two-session Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Evaluation for students who are sanctioned by the University for violations of the University’s alcohol and drug policy. In addition to mandated AOD sessions, AOD Evaluations are available on a voluntary basis to all FSU students. Following the AOD Evaluation sessions, a recommendation is made to the student regarding need for counseling treatment. Counseling treatment is provided to students on a voluntary basis only. Any fee-paying student currently enrolled at Florida State University is eligible for services at the UCC. Please contact the University Counseling Center for a current fee schedule (850) 644-2003;

(i.) The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at Florida State University was established to assist employees with behavioral, medical and substance abuse problems affecting employment. Employees can enter the program through a self-referral or supervisory referral. The EAP functions as a coordinator of counseling and other appropriate services available both within the university and the community (850) 644-2288;

(j.) Counseling services are also provided for students, staff, faculty, and the community by the Marriage and Family Therapy clinic, which fees are based on annual income (850) 644-1588;  Center For Couple & Family Therapy

(k.) The Human Services Center is a training clinic within the College of Education. Counselors are graduate students with counseling majors who offer service for students, staff, faculty, and the community. Services are free (850) 644-3857;

(l.) The Psychology Clinic is also a training clinic. Counselors are graduate students in clinic psychology programs. They provide one-on-one psychology services (no support groups) to students, staff, faculty, and the community. Fees are based on a sliding scale (850) 644-3006;

(m.) Helpline 211 is a telephone counseling and referral service for short term counseling, information and referrals mainly for social services in the Big Bend area 1(877) 211-7005, (850) 224-6333, 2-1-1;

(n.) AlcoholEdu offers personalized and confidential health information related to alcohol:



State of Florida statutes declare that it is unlawful for any person under 21 years of age to consume or possess alcoholic beverages. Consequently, no one under the legal drinking age may consume, distribute, or possess alcohol on University properties or as part of any University activity.

It is unlawful to sell, give, serve, or permit to be served alcoholic beverages to a person under 21 years of age. Furthermore, servers can be held civilly liable for damage caused by underage drinkers to whom they provided alcoholic beverages.

It is unlawful to be under the influence of, to use, possess, distribute, sell, offer, or agree to sell, or represent to sell, narcotics, hallucinogens, dangerous drugs, or controlled substances, except as where permitted by prescription or law. The FSU Student Conduct Code will be enforced.



Common Alcohol Offenses (Leon County) Typical Penalty - First Offense Maximum Penalty - First Offense
Possession or attempt to purchase alcohol by a person under 21 years of age. Diversion program: $180 fine; 10 hours community work program. 60 days jail; $500 fine.
Using a false driver's license ID or allowing someone to use your driver's license for an ID card. Diversion program: $180 fine; 10 hours community work program. 60 days jail; $500 fine.
Providing alcohol to a person under 21. Diversion program: $180 fine; 10 hours community work program. 60 days jail; $500 fine.

Note: These are only for information. State sanctions are subject to change by the Florida Legislature.



Illicit drugs all have some health-threatening qualities—some more than others. Examples include increased heart rate and lung damage from marijuana; central nervous system disorders from cocaine, heroin, and hallucinogens; and liver, lung and kidney damage from inhalants. HIV infection also is spread widely among intravenous drug users. Even infrequent use of illicit drugs can result in physical afflictions, such as hangovers, cardiovascular damage, digestive problems, tremors, impaired sexual response, and injuries due to lost coordination. Other possible  effects include reduced alertness and impaired performance at school or work, interpersonal conflicts, and financial difficulties. Dependence  and addiction are constant threats to users of illicit substances. Regular abuse of these substances generally exposes users to criminal elements, which may lead to involvement in further criminal activities.



The penalty for possession (second-degree misdemeanor) is 60 days jail and $500 fine. Penalties for trafficking (first-degree felony) range up to 30 years imprisonment and fines of $500,000.

Note: These are only for information. State sanctions are subject to change by the Florida Legislature.