The purpose of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse policy statement on alcohol and other drug use is to provide the general parameters within which campus units may formulate rules and regulations regarding the use of alcohol and other drugs by students and employees.  Rules and regulations formulated by units must be consistent with this general policy statement.

The University of Wisconsin System and University of Wisconsin-La Crosse 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.

Federal Sanctions

The federal government has recently revised the penalties against drug possession and trafficking through its Federal Sentencing guidelines that reduce the discretion that federal judges may use in sentencing offenders of federal drug statutes.  Under these guidelines, courts can sentence a person for 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).

State of Wisconsin Legal Sanctions

The Uniform Controlled Substances Act, Chapter 161 of the Wisconsin Statutes, regulates controlled substances and outlines specific penalties for the violation of the regulations.  A first-time conviction for possession of a controlled substance can result in a sentence of up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.  Sec. 161.41, Stats. A person convicted of manufacturing a controlled substance, delivering a controlled substance, or possessing a controlled substance with intent to manufacture or deliver, can be imprisoned for up to 30 years and fined up to $1,000,000.  Sec. 161.41, Stats. Penalties vary according to the type of drug involved, the amount of drug confiscated, the number of previous convictions, and the presence of any aggravating factors.  The distribution of a controlled substance to a minor can lead to the doubling of an authorized sentence term.  Section 161.46(1), Stats.

Wisconsin has formidable legal sanctions that restrict the use of alcohol in various situations.  It is illegal to procure for, sell, dispense, or give away alcohol to anyone who has not reached the legal drinking age of 21 years.  Sec. 125.07(1)(a)(1), Stats.  Every adult has a legal obligation to prevent the illegal consumption of alcohol on premises owned by the adult or under the adult's control.  Section 125.07(1)(a)(3), Stats.  A first-time violator of either of the above subsections can be fined up to $500.  It is against the law for an underage person to procure or attempt to procure an alcoholic beverage, to falsely represent his or her age for the purpose of obtaining alcohol, to enter premises licensed to sell alcohol, or to consume or possess alcohol on licensed premises.  Sec. 125.07(4), Stats.  A first-time underage violator of section 125.07(4) can be fined up to $500, ordered to participate in a supervised work program, and have their driver's license suspended.


What are the penalties for underage drinking?

Although the majority of college students do use alcohol, it's important to remember that the legal drinking age applies to everyone.  the state legislature has made several changes in Wisconsin's Drinking Age laws.  Wisconsin's 21-year drinking age law prohibits anyone under that age from possessing, purchasing, or consuming alcoholic beverages, except when the alcoholic beverage is provided by parents, guardians, or adult spouses.  Current fines can be found in the annual security report.