Alcohol and Other Drug Policies
The information in this Guide to Community Living does not constitute a contract. The College reserves the right to make changes in materials contained herein at any time with reasonable notice. For the purposes of this document, 48-hours will be considered reasonable, although more or less time may be dictated by circumstances. Updates and additional information may be sent to your campus mailbox, sent as an E-mail to your Ramapo College E-mail address, and/or posted on residence area bulletin boards.
Ramapo College of New Jersey is committed to providing a safe and healthy learning environment for all its members and one that maximizes the academic and social development of its students. The College believes that the health and safety of all its members, and especially the academic and social development of its students, is negatively affected by the use of illegal drugs and the abuse and improper consumption of alcohol. It affirms specifically that all students have the right to engage in academic and extracurricular activities without interference from others under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs. In addition, unlawful and abusive use interferes with the mission of the College in its goals of teaching and learning and through the consequent costs due to crime, property damage, and other risky behaviors. The purpose for this Policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs is to define and communicate to all members of the college community acceptable and unacceptable behavior with regard to alcohol and other drugs and the sanctions for policy violations.
1: Alcohol Laws
As of January 1, 1983, New Jersey state law prohibited the sale, possession, or consumption of alcohol by individuals under 21 years of age. Ramapo College is a public institution governed by Federal, State, and local laws, and by College regulations. The College complies with municipal and other law enforcement authorities in enforcing these laws as stated below:
State of New Jersey
The purchase and consumption of alcohol is a right extended by the State of New Jersey. The legal age to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages in the State of New Jersey is twenty-one. (N.J.S.A. 9:17b-1)
Possession or Consumption of Alcoholic beverages by persons under legal age (N.J.S.A. 2C:33-15) – Any person under the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages who knowingly possesses without legal authority or who knowingly consumes any alcoholic beverage in any school, public conveyance, public place, or place of public assembly, or motor vehicle is guilty of a disorderly persons offense and shall be fined not less than $500.
Purchase of Alcohol by/for the Underaged (N.J.S.A. 33:1-81) – An underaged person who purchases or attempts to purchase alcohol, or who mistakes his/her age, or a person of legal age who purchases alcohol for an underaged person faces a conviction of a disorderly persons offense, which incurs a fine of not less than $500 and loss of license for six months. In addition, underaged persons may be required to participate in a state-sponsored alcohol education program.
Offering Alcoholic Beverages to Underage Person (N.J.S.A. 2C:33-17) – Anyone who purposely or knowingly offers or serves or makes available an alcoholic beverage to a person under the legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages or entices or encourages that person to drink an alcoholic beverage is a disorderly person. This subsection shall not apply to a parent or guardian of the person under legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages if the parent or guardian is of the legal age to consume alcoholic beverages or to a religious observance, ceremony or rite.
Transfer of ID (N.J.S.A. 33:1-81.7) – Someone who is underaged and uses another person’s ID card to obtain alcohol, or someone of legal age who gives his/her ID card to an underaged person so that s/he can obtain alcohol, faces a fine of up to $300 or up to 60 days in jail.
False ID (N.J.S.A. 2C:21-2.1 d) – A person who knowingly possesses a document or other writing which falsely purports to be a driver’s license, birth certificate or other document issued by a governmental agency and which could be used as a means of verifying a person’s identity or age or any other personal identifying information is guilty of a crime in the fourth degree.
Host/Hostess Liability – Under a 1984 New Jersey Supreme Court decision, Kelly vs. Gwinnell, a host or hostess who serves alcoholic beverages to a guest, knowing that the guest is intoxicated and will soon be driving, can be held liable for injuries inflicted on a third party if that guest is involved in a motor vehicle accident.
Driving While Intoxicated
Operating Motor Vehicles While Under the Influence of Intoxicants (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50)
DEFINITION: A person is said to be legally drunk in New Jersey if his/her blood alcohol concentration is at or above 0.08%.
PENALTIES: All persons convicted of DWI must pay an insurance surcharge of $1,000 per year for three years. In addition:
For the first offense, there are additional fines and charges of at least $500 (bringing the total minimum charges for a first offense to $3,500); loss of license for 7-12 months; and a requirement to spend 12-48 hours in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center. A firsttime offender also faces a possible 30-day jail term.
For a second offense, there are additional fines and charges of at least $720; loss of license for 2 years; a requirement to perform 30 days of community service and to spend 48 hours in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center or jail. Also, there is a possible 90-day jail term.
For a third offense, additional fines and charges of at least $1,220; loss of license for 10 years; and a 180-day jail term. The insurance surcharge for a third-time offender is $1,500 per year for three years. These fines and charges do not include court and legal fees.
Driving While License Is Suspended Due to DWI (N.J.S.A. 39.3-40) – If a person is found driving while his/her license is suspended due to a conviction for Driving While Intoxicated, that person upon conviction again shall be fined $500, shall have his license to operate a motor vehicle suspended for an additional period of not less than one year nor more than two years, and may be imprisoned in the county jail for not more than 90 days.
Refusal to Take the Breathalyzer Test (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4a) – Refusal to take the breathalyzer test where there is probable cause for arrest for DWI will result in up to 10 year loss of license, a fine of $300-$1000, and an obligation to satisfy the requirements of an alcohol education or rehabilitation program. A person can also be convicted of DWI without the results of a breathalyzer test. In that case, s/he will suffer all the additional fines and penalties specified for the DWI conviction.
(Any of the statutes in the 2C:33 chapter which includes underage possession of alcohol and providing alcohol to a minor carries with it a mandatory loss of driver’s license from a minimum of 6 months to a maximum of 2 years.)
Township of Mahwah
No person shall consume, or offer to another for consumption, alcoholic beverages in, on, or upon any public street, road, alley, sidewalk, park, or playground or in, on, or upon any land or building owned or occupied by the Township, unless otherwise provided under this section. (3-10.1) a.
No person shall have in his possession or possess any alcoholic beverage in, on, or upon any public street, road, alley, sidewalk, park, or playground or in, on, or upon any land or building owned or occupied by the Township, unless the alcoholic beverage is in its original sealed container with original unbroken tax stamp or unless otherwise provided under this section. (3-10.1) b.
No licensee or employee of a licensee shall sell, serve, or deliver, directly or indirectly, any alcoholic beverages to any intoxicated person or person under the legal age, or permit the consumption of alcoholic beverages on any licensed premises by any of the above-named persons. (6-4.6)
No licensee shall sell or serve alcoholic beverages to persons under the legal age. (6-5)
It is unlawful for any person under the legal age who, without legal authority, knowingly possesses or knowingly consumes an alcoholic beverage on private property. (6-8)