Drug and Alcohol Legal Sanctions

Relevant Laws and Related Civil and Criminal Sanctions

In addition to disciplinary sanctions by the University, students and employees who violate the administrative policy: Drug Free University may be subject to criminal prosecution under federal, state, and local laws that specify imprisonment, fines, and loss of federal benefits for conviction of alcohol and drug-related offenses. To ensure students and employees are aware of these legal sanctions, this appendix briefly describes some relevant laws with sanctions and provides links to more information.

Federal Laws and Sanctions
Controlled substance convictions under federal laws carry penalties ranging from up to one year imprisonment and a minimum fine of $1,000 for simple possession to up to life imprisonment and a minimum fine of $2,000,000 for an individual engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise. Federal controlled substance convictions also can lead to forfeiture of both real and personal property; the denial of federal benefits, such as grants and student loans; and the denial of federally-provided or supported professional and commercial licensures. The seriousness of the offense and the penalty imposed generally depends on the type and amount of the drugs involved.

Minnesota Laws and Sanctions
Controlled substance convictions under Minnesota laws carry penalties including a prison sentence for not more than 30 years and a maximum fine of $1,000,000 for sales and possession crimes. Subsequent controlled substance convictions result in commitment to the commissioner of corrections for four to 40 years and a maximum fine of $1,000,000.

The misuse of alcohol also can result in criminal penalties under Minnesota laws. Anyone under 21 years of age is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a minimum fine of $100 if convicted of purchase, possession, or consumption of alcohol or misrepresentation of age in order to purchase alcohol. Anyone who provides alcohol to individuals under 21 years of age also is subject to criminal sanctions.

In addition, Minnesota state law imposes stiff penalties on individuals who are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or a hazardous substance. For example, a felony conviction of first-degree driving while impaired carries penalties of imprisonment for not more than seven years and a minimum fine of $14,000. Administrative penalties for driving under the influence convictions include driver’s license suspension, revocation, cancellation, denial, or disqualification.

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