Standards of Conduct And University Sanctions Concerning Drugs and Alcohol

The Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, Public Law 101-226, requires that each institution of higher education shall annually distribute to each student and employee information that clearly sets forth university policy regarding the prohibition of illicit drugs and alcohol. UW-Platteville subscribes to the goals of the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act and takes this opportunity to alert students and employees to our expectations.

The University of Wisconsin System and University of Wisconsin-Platteville prohibit the unlawful possession, use, distribution, manufacture, or dispensing of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on university property or as part of university activities.

The use or possession of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on university premises, except in faculty and staff housing and as expressly permitted by the chief administrative officer or under institutional regulations, in accordance with s. UWS 18.06(13)(a), Wis. Adm. Code. Without exception, alcohol consumption is governed by Wisconsin statutory age restrictions under s. UWS 18.06(13)(b), Wis. Adm. Code.

The unlawful use, possession, distribution, manufacture, or dispensing of illicit drugs ("controlled substances" as defined in ch. 161, Wis. Stats.) is prohibited in accordance with s. UWS 18.10, Wis. Adm. Code.

Violation of these provisions by a student may lead to the imposition of a disciplinary sanction, up to and including suspension or expulsion, under s. UWS 17.06(1)(c), Wis. Adm. Code. University employees are also subject to disciplinary sanctions for violation of these provisions occurring on university property or the work site or during work time, up to and including termination from employment. Disciplinary sanctions are initiated and imposed in accordance with applicable procedural requirements and work rules, faculty and academic staff policies, and collective bargaining agreements. Referral for prosecution under criminal law is also possible. Further, violations of ss. 18.06(13) and 18.10, Wis. Adm. Code may result in additional penalties as allowed under ch. UWS 18, Wis. Adm. Code.

Employees who are convicted of any criminal drug statute violation occurring in the workplace must notify their dean, director, or department chair within 5 days of the conviction if the employees are employed by the university at the time of the conviction.

State of Wisconsin and Federal Legal Sanctions


The laws of Wisconsin prohibit drug possession and delivery through the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, Wis. Stat. 161, and mandate stiff penalties that include up to 15 years of prison and fines up to $500,000. A person with a first-time conviction for possession of a controlled substance can be sentenced to up to one year in prison and fined up to $5,000, under Wis. Stat. 161.41(2r)(b). The penalties vary according to the amount of drug confiscated, the type of drug found, the number of previous offenses by the individual, and whether the individual intended to manufacture the drug, sell the drug, or use the drug. See Wis. Stat. 161.41. In addition to the stringent penalties for possession or delivery, the sentences can be doubled when exacerbating factors are present, such as when a person distributes a controlled substance to a minor, Wis. Stat. 161.46(1).

Substantial restrictions against alcohol abuse also exist in Wisconsin. It is against the law to sell alcohol to anyone who has not reached the legal drinking age of 21, and there is a concurrent duty on the part of an adult to prevent the illegal consumption of alcohol on his premises, Wis. Stat. 125.07 (1)(a)(1). Violation of this statute can result in a $500 fine. It is against the law for an underage person to attempt to buy an alcoholic beverage, falsely represent his age, or enter a licensed premises, and that person can be fined $500, ordered to participate in a supervised work program, and have his/her drivers license suspended, Wis. Stat. 125.07(4)(3). Harsher penalties exist for the retailers of alcoholic beverages, including up to 90 days in jail and revocation of the retail liquor permit.


The federal government has recently revised the penalties against drug possession and trafficking through its Federal Sentencing Guidelines which reduce the discretion that federal judges may use in sentencing offenders of federal drug statutes. Under these guidelines, courts can sentence a person to up to 6 years for unlawful possession of a controlled substance, including the distribution of a small amount (less than 250 grams) of marijuana. A sentence of life imprisonment can result from a conviction of possession of a controlled substance that results in death or bodily injury. Possession of more than 5 grams of cocaine can trigger an intent to distribute penalty of 10-16 years in prison, U.S.S.G. s. 2D2.1(b)(1).

Summary of The Health Effects Of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

The following is a partial list of drugs, and the consequences of their use. The effect is clear. The use of alcohol and other drugs is detrimental to the health of the user. Further, the use of drugs and alcohol is not conducive to an academic atmosphere. Drugs impede the learning process and can cause disruption for other students and disturb their academic interests. The use of drugs in the workplace may also impede the employee's ability to perform in a safe and effective manner, and may result in injuries to others. Early diagnosis and treatment of drug and alcohol abuse is in the best interests of the student, employee, and university.

Marijuana and hashish are deleterious to the health and impair the short-term memory and comprehension of the user. Their use alters the sense of time, and reduces the ability of the user to perform tasks requiring concentration and coordination. It increases the heart rate and appetite. Motivation and cognition can be altered, making acquisition and retention of new information difficult. Long-term use may result in psychological dependence and can produce paranoia and psychosis. Because these drugs are inhaled as unfiltered smoke, they are damaging to the lungs and pulmonary system and they have more cancer-causing agents than tobacco.

Cocaine or crack stimulates the central nervous system and is extremely addictive. It can cause psychological and physical dependency on the drug, which can lead to dilated pupils, increased pulse rate, elevated blood pressure, insomnia, loss of appetite, paranoia, and seizures. It can also cause death by disrupting the brain's control of the heart and respiration.

The use of other stimulants and amphetimines can have the same effect as cocaine use, causing increased heart rate and blood pressure which can result in stroke or heart failure. Symptoms include dizziness, sleeplessness, and anxiety. It can also lead to psychosis, hallucinations, paranoia, and even physical collapse.

Depressants and barbiturates can cause physical and psychological dependence that can lead to respiratory depression, coma, and death, especially when used in concert with alcohol. Withdrawal can lead to restlessness, insomnia, convulsions, and even death.

LSD, PCP, mescaline, and peyote are classified as hallucinogens. Hallucinogens interrupt the brain messages that control the intellect and keep instincts in check. Large doses can produce convulsions and coma, heart and lung failure. Chronic users experience persistent memory problems and speech difficulties for up to a year after their use. Because the drugs stop the brain's pain sensors, drug experiences may result in severe self-inflicted injuries.

Users of narcotics, such as heroin, codeine, morphine, and opium develop dependence and increase the likelihood of an overdose which can lead to convulsions, coma, and death.

Alcohol is chemically classified as a mind-altering drug because it contains ethanol and has the chemical power to depress the action of the central nervous system. This depression affects motor coordination, speech, and vision. In large amounts, it can affect respiration and heart-rate control. Death can result when the level of blood alcohol exceeds 0.40%. Prolonged abuse of alcohol can lead to alcoholism, malnutrition, and cirrhosis.

Resources For Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment

The Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services, through its Division of Community Services, provides an on-point summary of the numerous facilities that provide treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Their Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Office will send a pamphlet detailing the statewide and local resources for drug and alcohol abuse treatment. You can request a pamphlet by calling 608.266.2717 or writing:

Wisconsin Clearinghouse
315 North Henry Street
Madison, WI 53703

Employees who have problems with alcohol or controlled substances are encouraged voluntarily to contact their Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Coordinator for referral to counseling or treatment programs. Voluntary contacts with the EAP Coordinator may remain confidential.

The UW-Platteville EAP Coordinator is Richard Voelz 608.342.1530.

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