This summary of laws and policies related to alcohol and other drugs is provided as a brief overview to familiarize students with these issues. As such, it is not a comprehensive listing of relevant laws and policies. For the full text of Brown's policy on alcohol and drugs, click here and for Rhode Island Statutes, click here. Please note that laws related to alcohol and other drugs may be found in various sections of the statutes. If you are part of a student group planning events with alcohol, you can refer to the Student Activities Office page on Social Function Planning for information on these policies and procedures.
Brown seeks to ensure the health and well-being of all students. On-campus and off-campus resources are listed at the bottom of this page to encourage students to seek help for themselves or for a friend whenever they may be worried about alcohol or drug use.
Medical care for intoxication does not result in disciplinary action.
Calling EMS (401.863-4111) and getting medical care for alcohol or drug use will not initiate disciplinary action. There is a requirement to meet with a Health Educator, because this is an important opportunity to understand what happened and to talk about harm reduction strategies. This appointment is free and confidential.
For more information on when to call EMS and what happens when you call, click here.
Alcohol is legally served or sold only to those 21 and older.
Using a fake ID to purchase alcohol is a misdemeanor in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
Prohibited Types of Alcohol Containers
Kegs and other volume containers of alcohol (e.g., beer balls, wine boxes) are prohibited in any residence hall area. Individually-sized glass bottles of alcohol are also prohibited. These types of containers are permitted in certain authorized spaces only in conjunction with a registered social event.
Open containers of alcohol are illegal on Providence property (e.g., sidewalks and streets) and in public areas of the University (e.g., the Green).
Money for Alcohol
No money may be exchanged for alcohol without a Class F license (issued by the Providence Board of Licenses). Undergraduates must apply for a Class F license through the Student Activities Office.
Responsibility for Intoxication
It is illegal to serve someone to the point of intoxication or beyond. Rhode Island law states that the server may be held responsible if s/he provides alcohol to someone who becomes intoxicated.
Expectations related to Alcohol Service
People who provide alcohol must ensure that no one is coerced, however subtly, to drink or to drink excessively. At all events where alcohol is served, non-alcoholic beverages must be provided by the event sponsor. The event sponsor must also provide food when alcohol is served.
Use of Alcohol or Other Drugs and Other Problem Behavior
The use of alcohol or other drugs in association with problem behavior will be seen as an exacerbating factor, not a mitigating one, and will not constitute an acceptable excuse for such behavior (e.g, vandalism, violence, etc.).
Expulsion from Brown is the most likely consequence for a student caught selling drugs.