Alcohol and Drug Policy

It is the policy of Scripps College to provide a safe, healthy and productive workplace for all employees, including staff, faculty and student employees. The unlawful possession, use or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs by employees on College property or as part of any of its activities is prohibited. College activities shall include attendance at professional meetings. The College also does not condone abusive or inappropriate use of alcohol. Abusive or inappropriate use of alcohol shall be determined on a case-by-case basis but may include any individual incidence of drunkenness, any level of intoxication or habitual intoxication during normal business hours.

As a condition of employment and of continued employment, all employees of Scripps College are required to adhere to this policy.

An employee who is convicted of a criminal drug statute violation occurring in the workplace must, within five (5) days after the conviction, notify Scripps College of such conviction by informing the Human Resources Office.

Persons who are not employees of Scripps College but who perform work for its benefit (such as independent contractors, temporary employees provided by agencies, visitors engaged in joint projects, etc.) are required to comply with this policy. Violation by such persons is likely to result in their being barred from the workplace, even for a first offense.

Local, State, and Federal Legal Sanctions

Local, state and Federal laws establish severe penalties for unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol. These sanctions, upon conviction, may range from a fine and probation to lengthy imprisonment. In the case of possession or distribution of illegal drugs, these sanctions could include seizure and the summary forfeiture of property, including vehicles. It is especially important to know that recent Federal laws have increased the penalties for illegally distributing drugs to include life imprisonment and fines of up to $4,000,000 for individuals. Other examples of local and state laws include:

  • The purchase of any alcoholic beverage (including beer and wine) by any person under the age of 21 is prohibited.
  • The consumption of any alcoholic beverage (including beer and wine) by any person under the age of 21 in a public bar or establishment is prohibited.
  • It is unlawful to provide alcohol to a person under the age of 21.
  • It is not permissible to sell or give alcohol to an intoxicated person.
  • It is unlawful for a person under the age of 21 to present a fraudulent identification for the purpose of purchasing alcohol.
  • It is a misdemeanor for a person under the age of 21 to possess any alcoholic beverage on any street or highway or in a public place.
  • Selling, either directly or indirectly, any alcoholic beverages except under the authority of a California alcoholic Beverage Control license is prohibited.
  • Possession of an alcoholic beverage in an open container in a motor vehicle or on a bicycle is unlawful regardless of who is driving or whether one is intoxicated.
  • Driving a motor vehicle or bicycle while under the influence of alcohol is unlawful.
  • It is unlawful to visit or be in any room or place where controlled substances are being unlawfully smoked or used if the person knows of the activity.

Selections from California and Federal laws are available from Scripps College Human Resources Office or at the Honnold/Mudd Library in the annual publication of West Annotated California Codes.

Health Risks

The use of any mind or mood-altering substance, including alcohol, can lead to psychological dependence, which is defined as a need or craving for the substance and feeling of restlessness, tension or anxiety when the substance is not used. With many substances, use also can lead to physical tolerance, characterized by the need for increasing amounts of the substance to achieve the same effect and physical dependence, characterized by the onset of unpleasant or painful physiological symptoms when the substance is no longer being used. As tolerance and psychological or physical dependence develop, judgment becomes impaired, and people often do not realize they are losing control over the use of the substance and that they may need help.

Alcohol acts as a depressant to the central nervous system and can cause serious short- and long-term damage. Short-term effects include nausea, vomiting and ulcers. More chronic abuse can lead to brain, liver, kidney and heart damage, and even eventual death. Ingesting a large amount of alcohol at one time can lead to alcohol poisoning, coma and death. Drugs such as LSD, amphetamines, marijuana, cocaine and alcohol alter emotion, cognition, perception, physiology and behavior in a variety of ways. Health risks include but are not limited to depression, apathy, hallucinations, paranoia and impaired judgment. In particular, alcohol and drug use inhibits motor control, reaction time and judgment, which impairs driving ability. Abuse of either or both alcohol or drugs during pregnancy increases the risk of birth defects, spontaneous abortion and stillbirths. Substance abuse often leads to on-the-job accidents and absenteeism.

Available Resources

The College recognizes drug and alcohol abuse as treatable conditions and offers support programs, which are available through the health insurance plans, and the Employee Assistance Program of the Claremont Colleges. The Scripps College Human Resources Office also can provide referral services for confidential, professional counseling providing a constructive way for employees to voluntarily deal with drug- or alcohol-related and other problems.

College Disciplinary Sanctions

Scripps College will impose disciplinary sanctions on employees (consistent with local, state and Federal law) for violations of the standards of conduct outlined above. Possible sanctions shall include termination of employment and referral for prosecution and may include warnings and mandatory completion of an appropriate rehabilitation program.