Alcohol & Drug Assistance Information

two people climbing a mountain

The Drug Free Schools and Campuses Regulations (34 CFR Part 86) of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA) require an institution of higher education (IHE) such as Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to certify it has adopted and implemented programs to prevent the abuse of alcohol and use or distribution of illicit drugs by ERAU students and employees both on campus and as a part of any University sponsored activity. At a minimum, each IHE must annually distribute the following in writing to all students and employees: 

  • Standards of conduct that clearly prohibit the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees; 
  • A description of the legal sanctions under local, state, or federal law for the unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol;
  • a description of any drug or alcohol counseling, treatment, or rehabilitation or re-entry programs that are available to employees or students; 
  • A clear statement that the institution will impose sanctions on students and employees and a description of those sanctions, up to and including expulsion or termination of employment and referral for prosecution, for violations of the standards of conduct. 

The Act further requires that the institution conduct a biennial review of its program with the following objectives: 

  • Determine that the effectiveness of the policy and implementing changes to the Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) program if they are needed; and,
  • Ensure that the sanctions developed are enforced consistently.

The biennial review must also include a determination as to:

  • The number of drug-and alcohol-related violations and fatalities occurring on the campus or as part of their activities that are reported to campus officials; 
  • The number and type of sanctions the IHEs impose on students or employees as a result of such violations or fatalities.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University acknowledges its legal obligations under the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and is committed to the wellbeing of the campus community. The University provides alcohol and drug awareness and prevention information to our students and employees through student and employee handbooks. Students and employees who violate policies are subject to the institution's sanctions in addition to applicable federal, state, and local laws and criminal sanctions. 

Health Risks

Health hazards associated with the excessive use of alcohol or with alcohol dependency include dramatic behavioral changes, retardation of motor skills, and impairment of reasoning and rational thinking. These factors result in a higher incidence of accidents and accidental death of such persons than for non-users of alcohol. Nutrition also suffers and vitamin and mineral deficiencies are frequent. Prolonged alcohol abuse causes bleeding from the intestinal tract, damage to nerves and the brain, psychotic behavior, loss of memory and coordination, damage to the liver often resulting in cirrhosis, impotence, severe inflammation of the pancreas, and damage to the bone marrow, heart, testes, ovaries, and muscles. Damage to the nerves and organs is usually irreversible. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in alcoholics and is 10 times more frequent than in non-alcoholics. Sudden withdrawal of alcohol from persons dependent on it will cause serious physical withdrawal symptoms. 
The use of illicit drugs usually causes the same general type of physiological and mental changes as alcohol, though frequently those changes are more severe and more sudden. Death or coma resulting from overdose of drugs is more frequent than from alcohol, but unlike alcohol, abstinence can lead to reversal of most physical problems associated with drug use.

Available Support, Resources, and Treatment

Federal Drug Prevention Agencies and Programs: 

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA): In addition to dismantling the major drug trafficking organizations, DEA is committed to reducing the demand for drugs in America. DEA’s Demand Reduction Program is carried out by Special Agents across the United States who work in communities to share expertise and information on drug trends, emerging problems, and the dangers of drugs. 

Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP): This office reports to the President of the United States. ONDCP administers the Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): This organization is responsible for overseeing and administering mental health, drug prevention, and drug treatment programs around the nation. The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) are part of SAMHSA. 

U.S. Department of Education (ED): ED has many anti-drug programs.

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): NIDA conducts and disseminates the results of research about the effects of drugs on the body and the brain. NIDA is an excellent source of information on drug addiction. 

Other Resources

For Students

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University promotes substance abuse awareness by sponsoring educational programs and distributing literature on the subject. The University is additionally committed to assisting students in the resolution of problems associated with substance abuse, and encourages students to seek additional help through referrals from the Wellness Center and/or Counseling Center. 

The Counseling Center provides substance abuse screening inventories and assessment in conjunction with support services. Students with issues of substance misuse will be offered supportive counseling services and referred to a campus-supported substance educational program or similar. Students with issues of substance dependence may be referred to addictions specialists in the Prescott community. 

Resource Phone Numbers: 

ERAU Counseling Center (928) 777-3312
ERAU Wellness Center (928) 777-6653
ERAU Safety & Security (928) 777-3333
Dean of Students Office (928) 777-3879
ERAU Housing and Residence Life (928) 777-3744

For Employees

Drug and alcohol counseling and rehabilitation programs are available for both faculty and staff through the Embry-Riddle Employee Assistance Program (EAP) by calling (800) 272-7252 24-hours a day, seven days a week; review the APPM 8.3.7 - EAP PolicyAPPM 8.3.7 - EAP ProcedureEAP Webpage

State and Federal Policies & Law

The State of Arizona requires persons to be 21 years of age or older to possess, purchase, and consume alcohol (A.R.S. §4-101(18) A.R.S. §4-244(16)). 

The U.S. Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration - 

Policies on Alcohol and Illegal Drugs

For conduct purposes, an individual becomes a student upon engaging in their first University sponsored activity and will remain a student until they break their continued student status as defined in the University Catalog.  Students who withdraw from the University by completing and submitting a University withdrawal form no longer meet the definition of ‘student’.  A student who completes a stop out form or who fails to withdraw from the University will still be considered a student for up to two years from last enrollment date.  A recognized organization is a group of students who register with and are approved by the Department of Student Engagement to operate as an organization within the University. 

The University reserves the right to pursue disciplinary action if a student violates a policy, rule, or regulation and withdraws from the University before administrative action is taken. Additionally, the University reserves the right to pursue student conduct action for incidents which occur off-campus. Students who hold part-time jobs within the institution are covered by both student and employee policies.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's mission encompasses a set of core values, which are intended to create a respectful, diverse, and intellectually vibrant community. In choosing to be a member of our community our expectation is that you act and make choices that help facilitate and enhance this mission. The University’s alcohol policy supports this vision of creating a community of educated and responsible individuals. Because your choices impact your life, as well as the lives of others, we expect you to act in a manner that reflects an intrinsic desire to reach your full potential and that you strive to be a productive citizen within and beyond the campus community.

The primary concern of the University is the health and safety of all members of the Embry-Riddle community. The University guidelines will be clear, readily understood, consistent, and equally applicable to all students. All members need to be mindful of their responsibility to assist others in need of help because of a problem related to drugs or alcohol. For those students that choose to drink, they will drink responsibly.

The University prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illegal drugs and alcohol by students and employees.

From the Student Handbook, Standards of Conduct:

Drugs - 

A. The sale, manufacture, distribution, possession and use of illegal drugs on or off campus is prohibited.  This includes but is not limited to: misuse of over-the-counter drugs; misuse or sharing of prescription drugs; possessing, using, being under the influence of, distributing, or manufacturing any form of illegal drug; possessing paraphernalia (i.e., rolling papers, pipes, bongs, etc.) for intended or implied use of any form of illegal drug. Possessing paraphernalia that contains or appears to contain illegal drug residue; purchasing or passing illegal drugs from one person to another and using mail services to purchase, pass, or distribute illegal drugs.  Illegal drugs include but are not limited to: recreational drugs, non-medical marijuana*, synthetic/novelty powders and any substance designed/used to alter a person’s state of mind (such as Spice, K-2, Salvia and Bath Salts), cocaine, methamphetamines, heroin, or materials to create an illegal drug.

B. Drug paraphernalia or other paraphernalia used to facilitate illegal use of a legal substance, stimulants, hallucinogens, or other similar non-prescribed agents known to be harmful or habit forming drugs or chemicals (such as those used in huffing), and attempting to manufacture or sell counterfeit drugs.

C. Medicinal Marijuana* is not permitted on campus or at University sponsored events.  This includes, but is not limited to, the possession of the substance in any form (edibles or other forms) as well as paraphernalia including pipes with or without residue, rolling papers, bongs, etc.

*Embry-Riddle does not permit the use or possession of medical marijuana or paraphernalia on campus (see Medicinal Marijuana policy). 

Alcohol - 

A. The possession or consumption of alcohol by anyone under the age of 21; being under the influence of alcohol may be viewed as possession.

B. Having knowledge of, or being in the presence when an alcohol violation occurs, may constitute equal responsibility and involvement in the incident.

C. Purchasing for or providing alcohol to anyone under the age of 21.

D. The possession of alcohol on University owned or operated property (excluding exempted locations such as residence hall rooms with approved alcohol permit or preapproved events) is prohibited. 

E. Showing physical or mental impairment following or resulting from alcohol use.

F. The possession of or use of powdered/vapor alcohol or vaportini’s or similar devices on University owned or operated property is prohibited.

G. The possession, use of items, or activities that encourage or facilitate mass consumption of alcohol (i.e. kegs, beer bong, drinking games).

Medical Marijuana Policy - 

In 2010, Arizona voters approved the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (Proposition 203), which, under certain circumstances, authorizes the possession and use of marijuana for medical purposes by people with debilitating medical conditions who obtain a written certification from a physician. Notwithstanding the passage of Proposition 203, because of the University’s obligations under Federal law, marijuana, including medical marijuana, will continue to be banned on campus. Additionally, campus health care providers, in accordance with Federal law as well as University policies and regulations, will not prescribe medical marijuana.

Under Federal legislation entitled The Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988, and The Drug Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, “no institution of higher education shall be eligible to receive funds or any other form of financial assistance under any Federal program, including participation in any Federally funded or guaranteed student loan program, unless it has adopted and has implemented a program to prevent the use of illicit drugs and abuse of alcohol by students and employees.” Federal law entitled The Controlled Substances Act prohibits the use, manufacture, distribution, dispensing, or possession of marijuana; it also classifies marijuana as a controlled substance and makes no exception for medical use. Proposition 203 does not change the fact that marijuana remains illegal under Federal law; the University will therefore continue to enforce its current policies prohibiting the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of a controlled substance, including medical marijuana, on its property or as part of any of its activities.

In summary, despite popular misconception, Proposition 203 only made possession and use of medical marijuana legal under Arizona law. It did not generally legalize marijuana possession and use. Marijuana remains a controlled substance under Federal law and possession and use of marijuana remains illegal under Federal law, regardless of whether a person has a prescription or is otherwise complying with Proposition 203. In order to remain eligible to receive Federal grant funding and participate in federally funded student financial aid, the University must require that students, faculty, and staff do not unlawfully possess or use marijuana on campus or as part of any of its activities. As a result, the possession or use of marijuana on campus, even in accordance with the exceptions granted by Proposition 203, is a violation of Federal law and the University's current policies and regulations. Employees and students who violate these policies will continue to be subject to disciplinary action.

The University prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees. Embry-Riddle seeks to maintain a work and educational environment that is safe for our employees and students and conducive to high work standards. For more information, please review APPM 8.6.1 - Substance Abuse Policy. We reserve the right to make any appropriate management decisions, including but not limited to, a decision to impose disciplinary action based upon the results of drug or alcohol testing (review APPM 8.6.2 - Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy).

Possible Sanction Violations 

State and Federal Penalties for Drug and Alcohol Related Offenses

Anyone operating a vehicle in Arizona is deemed to have given consent to a test to determine the presence of a controlled substance. Refusal to submit to the test may result in a driver’s license suspension for 12 months. Evidence of refusal is admissible in any legal action or proceeding. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 28-1321, 28-1387.)

Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is dangerous and life threatening. For this reason, if you commit a DUI, you will face harsh penalties from both the courts and the Arizona Department of Transportation (DOT) Motor Vehicle Division (MVD).The Arizona MVD classifies DUIs by blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and the specific circumstances of your offense.

standard DUI is classified as driving a vehicle with a BAC of:

0.08% or more.

0.04% or more.

Any percentage, if you are younger than 21 years old.

An extreme DUI is classified as driving with a BAC of 0.15% or higher.

An aggravated DUI is classified as:

DUIs committed with a driver's license that is suspended, revoked, or cancelled.

A 3rd offense for dui within 84 months.

A dui committed while driving with a passenger who is younger than 15 years old.

Each type of DUI in Arizona comes with a different set of penalties and the more severe the DUI, the harsher the consequences.

NOTE: Depending on the judgment of your arresting officer and the discretion of the court, you may still be charged with a DUI even if you have a BAC of less than the legal limits above.

If you commit a DUI, you will face penalties in criminal court AND with the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division.

Your penalties will depend on the type of DUI you are convicted of.

When you are stopped on suspicion of a DUI by a police officer and either fail or refuse to take the BAC/breathalyzer test, the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division will typically suspend your driver's license (regardless of any criminal findings) on the spot for:

  • 12 months.
    OR
  • 24 months, for a 2nd refusal or failure within 84 months.

You will be required to complete an alcohol/drug screening before you can apply for a restricted driving permit or attempt to reinstate your license after your suspension time is completed. You may be required to enroll in further educational or treatment classes based on your screening results. 

For a 1st offense of a standard DUI, you may face:

  • 10 days in jail.
  • A fine of $1,250.
  • Required completion of an alcohol/drug screening, treatment, and education program.
  • An ignition interlock requirement for every vehicle you drive.
  • Community service.
For a 2nd offense or subsequent offenses, you will likely face: 
  • Jail time of at least 90 days.
  • A fine $3,000.
  • A driver's license revocation for 12 months.
  • Required completion of an alcohol/drug screening, treatment, and education program.
  • An ignition interlock requirement for every vehicle you drive.
  • Community service.

For a 1st offense of an extreme DUI, you may face: 

  • 30 days in jail.
  • A fine of at least $2,500.
  • Required completion of an alcohol/drug screening, treatment, and education program.
  • An ignition interlock requirement for every vehicle you drive.
  • Community service.
For a 2nd offense (or subsequent offense) of an extreme DUI, you may face: 
  • At least 120 days in jail.
  • A fine of at least $3,250.
  • A driver's license revocation of 12 months.
  • Required completion of an alcohol/drug screening, treatment, and education program.
  • An ignition interlock requirement for every vehicle you drive.
  • Community service.

If you are convicted of an aggravated DUI, you will likely face: 

  • 2 years in prison.
  • A driver's license revocation for 1 year.
  • Required completion of an alcohol/drug screening, treatment, and education program.
  • An ignition interlock requirement for every vehicle you drive.
  • Community service.

NOTE: Depending on the circumstances of your DUI and your exact blood alcohol concentration, your penalties may be different from the general penalties listed above.

An ignition interlock device hooks up to your vehicle's ignition system and requires you to pass a BAC test before you can start your vehicle and drive.

You will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed for any DUI offense in Arizona.

Arizona Marijuana Laws

Marijuana possession, sale, and distribution is regulated by both state and federal law. In Arizona, marijuana is regulated as a “Schedule I” controlled substance. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 36-2512.)

Possession of marijuana is a criminal offense. The penalties for possession depend on whether the marijuana was intended for personal use or for sale. In addition to the penalty of jail time (described below), anyone convicted of possession will be required to pay a fine of up to $150,000, as determined by the court. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-801.)

The penalties for first offenses are listed below, penalties increase for repeat offenses and for possession near a school. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 13-703, 13-3411.)

Penalties depend on the amount of marijuana in the defendant’s possession.

  • Possession of less than two pounds of marijuana for personal use is a Class 6 felony, punishable by a sentence of four months to two years.
  • Possession of between two and four pounds of marijuana for personal use is a Class 5 felony, punishable by a sentence of six months to two and a half years.
  • Possession of four pounds or more of marijuana for personal use is a Class 4 felony, punishable by a sentence of one to four years. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 13-3405, 13-702.)

As with possession for personal use, penalties depend on the amount of marijuana involved.

  • Possession of less than two pounds of marijuana for sale is a Class 4 felony, punishable by a sentence of one to four years.
  • Possession of between two and four pounds of marijuana for sale is a Class 3 felony, punishable by a sentence of two to nine years.
  • Possession of four pounds or more of marijuana for sale is a Class 2 felony, punishable by a sentence of three to ten years. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 13-3405, 13-702.)
Drug paraphernalia includes anything used in the growing, sale, or use of marijuana—for example, growing kits, scales, testing equipment, separation sifters, or pipes. Possession, sale, manufacture, or advertisement of drug paraphernalia is a Class 6 felony, punishable by a sentence of four months to two years and a fine of up to $150,000. All drug paraphernalia is subject to forfeiture. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 13-3415, 13-702.)
The cultivation, sale, or distribution of marijuana is known as “drug trafficking” and is a felony offense. The penalties for possession of marijuana for sale are discussed above (see “Possession for Sale”). Also, as discussed above, those found guilty of marijuana-related offenses will be required to pay a fine of up to $150,000, as determined by the court. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-801.) The penalties for first offenses are listed below, penalties increase for repeat offenses or if criminal activity occurred near a school. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 13-703, 13-3411.)

Penalties depend on the amount of marijuana being grown.

  • Cultivation of less than two pounds of marijuana is a Class 5 felony, punishable by a sentence of six months to two and a half years.
  • Cultivation of between two and four pounds of marijuana is a Class 4 felony, punishable by a sentence of one to four years.
  • Cultivation of four pounds or more of marijuana is a Class 3 felony, punishable by a sentence of two to nine years. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 13-3405, 13-702.)

Penalties depend on the amount of marijuana being transported or imported.

  • Transportation for sale or importing into the state (or offering to transport or import) less than two pounds of marijuana is a class 3 felony, punishable by a sentence of two to nine years.
  • Transportation of more than two pounds of marijuana is a Class 2 felony, punishable by a sentence of three to ten years. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 13-3405, 13-702.)

Federal Drug Penalties

(Depending on the location of the violation, additional state statues may apply)

The health and wellness of Embry-Riddle students are critical to the academic mission and the safety of the entire community, and industries pursued by students often do not tolerate any violations of illegal drug and other substance laws

Students suspected of violating the university’s drug or alcohol policy will be entered into the conduct system and can expect sanctions up to and including suspension from the University if found responsible. Additional sanctions may include required drug testing; a positive finding of a drug test will constitute evidence of drug use and further sanctions will be imposed; a diluted sample may be viewed or treated as a positive drug test and the student will be required to retest. Ignorance of this policy will not be acceptable as an explanation for putting oneself or others in harm’s way.  Students found responsible for violating the university’s drug or alcohol policy who are enrolled in flight degree programs or seeking flight certifications through Embry-Riddle may lose the privilege of obtaining certifications through Embry-Riddle.  Scholar athletes found responsible for violating the university’s drug or alcohol policy may risk losing scholarships.

Having knowledge of the above or being present when a violation occurs constitutes equal responsibility and involvement in the incident. Any suspicion of drug use should be reported immediately to Campus Safety & Security or the Dean of Students Office.

University Disciplinary Sanctions: 

Refer to 8.6.1 - Substance Abuse Policy and 8.6.2 - Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy located in the Administrative Policies and Procedures (APPMs).

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Contact Us

Dean of Students

Campus Safety & Security
Phone: 928-777-3333

Human Resources: 
Phone: 928-777-3700