Substance Policies

Alcohol & Controlled/Illegal Drug Policy

Health Risk

Health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol are many, and include disequilibrium/impaired judgment leading to safety risks, heart disease, cancer (e.g., of the stomach), birth defects, liver disease, and immunosuppression.

Community Resources

Alcohol Policy

Virginia’s Alcohol Beverage Control Act contains a variety of laws governing the possession, use, and consumption of alcoholic beverages. The Act applies to the students and employees of this institution. Virginia statutes, including sanctions for their violation, are summarized below.

  • It is unlawful for any person under age 21 to purchase or possess any alcoholic beverage.
  • It is unlawful for any person to sell alcoholic beverages to persons under the age of 21 years of age.
  • It shall be unlawful for any person to consume an alcoholic beverage while driving a motor vehicle upon a public highway of this Commonwealth.
  • It is unlawful for any person to purchase alcoholic beverages for another when, at the time of the purchase, he knows or has reason to know that the person for whom the alcohol is purchased is under the legal drinking age.
  • It is unlawful for any person to consume alcoholic beverages in unlicensed public places.

Persons violating the above laws are subject to possible fines, loss of driver’s license and confinement in jail.

Controlled Substances and Illegal Drugs Policy

The unlawful possession, distribution, and use of controlled substances and illicit drugs, as defined by the Virginia Drug Control Act, are prohibited in Virginia. Controlled substances are classified under the Act into “Schedules,” ranging from Schedule I through Schedule VI, as defined in sections 54.1-3446 through 54.1-3456 of the Code of Virginia, as amended. Penalties for violation of the schedules are covered in 18.2-248 and may involve fines of not more than one million and imprisonment for life.

Local Laws

Blue Ridge Community College serves the counties of Augusta, Rockingham and Highland, as well as the cities of Harrisonburg, Staunton and Waynesboro.

Augusta, Rockingham and Highland counties, and the city of Harrisonburg have all adopted state and federal codes relative to the unlawful possession or distribution of a controlled substance. There are no special ordinances in those three counties or the city of Harrisonburg for substance abuse.

The City of Staunton has one ordinance that relates to taking or offering a drink in public. “It shall be unlawful for any person to take a drink of alcoholic beverages or to offer or tender a drink of alcoholic beverages to another whether accepted or not, at or in any public place in the city. For purposes of this section of the Staunton Code, the terms ‘alcoholic beverages’ and ‘public place’ shall have the meanings ascribed to them in Section 4.1-100 of the Code of Virginia. This section shall not apply to drinking alcoholic beverages or offering a drink thereof where the same is permitted by section 4-78(b) of the Code of Virginia.”

Disciplinary Sanctions

The College will ensure that disciplinary actions taken as a result of a violation of the above policies are consistent, fairly applied, and not unduly harsh or punitive and are based on the severity and nature of the violation.