The health and well-being of students in our community is paramount. Therefore, Quinnipiac University empowers students to make healthy and responsible decisions about their behaviors, including alcohol and other drug use, that affect them and the Quinnipiac community as a whole. University prevention programs, policies and resources focus on reducing high-risk behaviors and promoting safe, legal and responsible student choices. 

Behavioral Expectations

The behavioral expectations that Quinnipiac University has for all students—whether on or off campus—are outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. The Student Code of Conduct, including specific codes pertaining to alcohol and drugs, can be found in this Student Handbook. Additionally, policies that outline expectations for student organizations, including fraternities, sororities and governing councils, as they relate to alcohol and/or other drugs can be found in the Student Organizations section of the Student Handbook.

Promoting Responsible Action in Health and Safety Emergencies  

Quinnipiac University encourages students and student organizations to make responsible decisions and to take responsible action whenever they are concerned about the health and safety of themselves or others. Accordingly, the university expects that in emergencies related to alcohol or other drug use, students will seek help for those at risk.

If a student or student organization seeks assistance from university staff, local police or emergency medical services for themself or for another person due to concerns about someone’s health and safety, this responsible action taken on their part will be taken into consideration in the university’s response to any policy violations related to alcohol and/or controlled substances.

Under the terms of this policy:

  1. Students or student organizations who seek assistance for themselves, another student(s), a visitor/guest or any other individual in medical need due to intoxication generally will not be charged with any alcohol or controlled substances violation as described in the Student Code of Conduct.
  2. This policy does not apply in cases where a student is discovered to be intoxicated by university staff or other local authorities, or if the university is made aware of the student’s intoxicated condition by means other than a student-initiated report or communication.
  3. Students or student organizations involved in such an incident may still be required to meet with one or more university staff members for education, assessment and possible referral for treatment as may be appropriate.
  4. If a student or student organization fails to attend the meeting(s) referenced above, chooses not to participate in the steps recommended by university staff, or has repeated involvements in concerning behavior with alcohol and/or other drugs, this policy may no longer apply.

This policy does not preclude student conduct action regarding other violations of the Quinnipiac University Student Code of Conduct that may be discovered at the time of the incident, such as causing or threatening physical harm, sexual misconduct, damage to property, disorderly conduct, etc.

This policy does not prohibit action by local, state and federal authorities as may be applicable.

Student Conduct Sanctions

Student violations of the Student Code of Conduct may result in one or more sanctions. A list of possible sanctions can be found in the student conduct section of the Student Handbook.

Legal Sanctions

Quinnipiac students are subject to local, state and federal laws concerning the use and possession of alcohol and other drugs. These local, state and federal laws and applicable legal sanctions are outlined below.

Federal Laws

The Controlled Substances Act (1970) places all substances regulated under federal law into one of five schedules based on the substance's medical use, potential for abuse, and safety or dependence liability.

Federal Penalties and Sanctions for Illegal Possession of a Controlled Substance

Sentencing Provisions (21 U.S.C. 844(a))

  • 1st conviction: Up to 1 year imprisonment and fined at least $1,000 but not more than $100,000, or both
  • After 1 prior drug conviction: At least 15 days in prison, not to exceed 2 years and fined at least $2,500 but not more than $250,000, or both
  • After 2 or more prior drug convictions: At least 90 days in prison, not to exceed 3 years and fined at least $5,000 but not more than $250,000, or both
  • Special sentencing provision for possession of crack cocaine: Mandatory at least 5 years in prison, not to exceed 20 years and fined up to $250,000, or both, if:
    • 1st conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds 5 grams.
    • 2nd crack conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds 3 grams.
    • 3rd or subsequent crack conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds 1 gram.


  • Forfeiture of personal and real property used to possess or to facilitate possession of a controlled substance if that offense is punishable by more than 1 year imprisonment. (See special sentencing provisions re: crack) 21 U.S.C. 853(a)(2) and 881(a)(7)
  • Forfeiture of vehicles, boats, aircraft or any other conveyance used to transport or conceal a controlled substance. 21 U.S.C. 881(a)(4)

Denial of Federal Benefits

  • Denial of Federal benefits, such as student loans, grants, contracts, and professional and commercial licenses, up to one year for first offense, up to five years for second and subsequent offenses. 21 U.S.C. 853a


  • Ineligible to receive or purchase a firearm. Revocation of certain Federal licenses and benefits, e.g., pilot licenses, public housing tenancy, etc., are vested within the authorities of individual Federal agencies. Note: These are only Federal penalties and sanctions.

Summary of Relevant Provisions of Connecticut Law

Connecticut law controls the possession and sale of alcoholic beverages and illicit drugs within the State of Connecticut. Violations of these laws may result in criminal sanctions. Involvement with the criminal justice system is a serious matter even if maximum fines or prison sentences do not result. A criminal record can adversely affect job opportunities, admission to graduate or professional schools, and eligibility for training and financial aid opportunities. Some of the specific laws and criminal sanctions are described below:


It is a crime for a person under 21 years old (minor) to procure, possess or transport alcohol. Penalties for procuring, possessing or transporting alcohol are an infraction for a first offense and up to $500 for a second offense. It is a crime to sell or furnish alcohol to a minor. Penalties for selling or furnishing alcohol to a minor include a fine up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment up to one year. It is a crime to misrepresent one's age, possess a false identification card, use someone else's identification card, forge or alter an identification card, or loan an identification card to another for the purpose of obtaining alcohol. For more information, please see Connecticut General Statute §30.


It is a crime to knowingly cultivate, deliver or sell marijuana. Penalty for a first violation of possession includes a fine up to $150 and for a second violation a fine up to $500. Also, those under the age of 21 will incur a 60-day license suspension. Penalties for a first offense for delivering or selling marijuana include a fine up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment up to seven years. Subsequent violations include fines up to $100,000 and imprisonment up to 15 years. For more information, please see Connecticut General Statute §21a-279.


It is a crime to knowingly possess, deliver or sell cocaine. Penalties for possession include a fine up to $50,000 and/or imprisonment up to seven years for a first offense. Penalties for delivering or selling up to a one-half ounce of cocaine include imprisonment up to 20 years. Penalties for selling cocaine include life imprisonment. For more information, please see Connecticut General Statute §21a-279.


It is a crime to knowingly possess, deliver or sell heroin. Penalties for possession include a fine up to $50,000 and/or imprisonment up to seven years for a first offense. Penalties for delivering or selling up to one ounce of heroin include imprisonment up to 20 years. Penalties for delivering or selling heroin over one ounce include life imprisonment. It is a crime to knowingly possess, deliver or sell depressants, stimulants and narcotic drugs other than heroin or cocaine. Penalties are very similar to those for heroin or cocaine. For more information, please see Connecticut General Statute §21a-279.

Medical Marijuana

Connecticut state law permits the use of medical marijuana; however, in accordance with federal law and as a recipient of federal funding, the university does not permit the possession, use or distribution of marijuana. Accordingly, students with medical marijuana prescriptions (obtained in Connecticut or any other state) are not permitted to use or possess medical marijuana in any form on university-owned or leased property, or at any university-sponsored programs, internships, externships or clinical assignments.

Health Risks of Alcohol and Other Drug Use or Abuse

According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “harmful and underage college drinking are significant public health problems, and they exact an enormous toll on the intellectual and social lives of students on campuses across the United States.” Moreover, “drinking too much—on a single occasion or over time—can take a serious toll on your health” including but not limited to:

  • Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works. These disruptions can change mood and behavior, and make it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
  • Drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart, causing problems including: cardiomyopathy—stretching and drooping of heart muscle, arrhythmias—irregular heartbeat, stroke and high blood pressure.
  • Heavy drinking takes a toll on the liver, and can lead to a variety of problems and liver inflammations including: steatosis, or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis and cirrhosis.
  • Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
  • Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of developing certain cancers, including cancers of the mouth, esophagus, throat, liver and breast.
  • Drinking too much can weaken your immune system, making your body a much easier target for disease. Chronic drinkers are more liable to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis than people who do not drink too much. Drinking a lot on a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections—even up to 24 hours after getting drunk.

Visit the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism for more information.

In addition to the health risk posed by alcohol, those posed by use of other drugs are also of concern. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “drug use can have a wide range of short- and long-term, direct and indirect effects. These effects often depend on the specific drug or drugs used, how they are taken, how much is taken, the person’s health and other factors. Short-term effects can range from changes in appetite, wakefulness, heart rate, blood pressure and/or mood to heart attack, stroke, psychosis, overdose and even death. These health effects may occur after just one use. Longer-term effects can include heart or lung disease, cancer, mental illness, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and others. Long-term drug use can also lead to addiction.” Furthermore, “drug use can also have indirect effects on both the people who are taking drugs and on those around them. This can include affecting a person’s nutrition; sleep; decision-making and impulsivity; and risk for trauma, violence, injury and communicable diseases.” Visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse for additional information on how various drugs affect the body and disease risk.

Alcohol and Other Drug Support Resources



  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
  • Alcoholics Anonymous Connecticut Statewide 24-Hour Hotline: 866-783-7712,
  • Connecticut Region of Narcotics Anonymous Statewide phone line: 1-800-627-3543,
  • Wheeler Clinic - Navigation Center: 860-793-3500,
  • Rushford Clinic: 877-577-3233,, 883 Paddock Ave, Meriden, CT
  • Turnbridge: 877-581-1793,, 189 Orange St., New Haven, CT

Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Regulations: Biennial Review

In accordance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Regulations, Quinnipiac University conducts a review of its alcohol and other drug programs every two years to determine effectiveness and the consistency of sanction enforcement, to identify and implement any necessary changes. The most recent Quinnipiac University Biennial Review can be found on the Student Consumer Information page under the Health and Safety section.