Chapter 12 – A Drug Free Environment

(Amended 8/90; 9/97; 10/04; 9/05; 9/12)

12.1 Policy Statement

(Amended 10/04)
  1. The use or possession of illegal drugs as well as the abuse of alcohol and other intoxicants creates a serious threat to the health and well-being of the user and in some instances to fellow employees and private citizens. The University of Iowa has a responsibility to provide a work environment free of drugs and alcohol, and employees have the right to perform their duties with co-workers not impaired by drugs and alcohol.
  2. In compliance with the 1989 Drug Free Schools and Campuses Act Amendments, all University of Iowa faculty and staff are herein notified that the unlawful possession, use, distribution, manufacture or dispensing of illicit drugs and alcohol, including controlled substances, is prohibited on the University's premises, in its activities, either in the workplace, or in such places and at such times that could have an adverse effect on the employee's work performance or behavior, or interfere with the rights and privileges of co-workers or the public. Chapter V-26 Alcoholic Beverage Service Guidelines and Procedures governs serving alcoholic beverages on campus.
  3. To assist employees in broadening their knowledge of the harmful effects of illicit drugs, controlled substances, and alcohol, and to assist in the treatment of alcoholism or drug addiction, The University of Iowa will use an annual policy notification, UI Employee Assistance Program (UI EAP) mailings, Learning and Development classes, and other avenues to make faculty and staff members aware of the following:
    1. the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace;
    2. the University's Drug Free Environment Policy;
    3. the availability of the UI Employee Assistance Program;
    4. staff development training regarding substance abuse;
    5. the existence of regional substance abuse treatment facilities and programs; and
    6. the penalties which may be imposed for Drug Free Environment Policy violations.
    As a condition of employment, faculty and staff members agree to abide by the terms outlined in this policy.

12.2 Health Risks Associated with the Use of Controlled Substances and Alcohol

  1. The use of marijuana, LSD, amphetamines, sedatives, tranquilizers, other dangerous drugs or legally defined controlled substances by University staff members is of concern, as is the illegal use or abuse of alcohol. The health risks include, but are not limited to the nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, muscular, endocrine, and central nervous systems.
  2. These may involve toxic, allergic, or other serious reactions; unfavorable mood alteration; and addiction. Physiological and psychological dependency, which manifests itself in a preoccupation with acquiring and using one or more drugs, may cause severe emotional and physical injury. In the workplace, drug and/or alcohol use may also adversely affect the staff member's work performance.

12.3 University Sanctions

  1. The University will impose sanctions on any faculty or staff member who is found to be in violation of this policy, the PDF icon Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988, or the 1990 rules under the Drug Free Schools and Campuses Act.
  2. Anyone who violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action. Following an appropriate investigation and subject to the procedures which are part of the policies governing the relevant type of appointment at the University, the faculty or staff member can be subject to any one or a combination of the following disciplinary and/or educational sanctions:
    1. disciplinary action, including reprimand, suspension, or termination;
    2. required completion of substance abuse treatment;
    3. required attendance at designated staff development or other substance abuse education programs.
  3. In addition to disciplinary action by the University, violations of the policy may also be referred for criminal prosecution.

12.4 Applicable Criminal Sanctions

(Amended 10/04)

Both state and federal laws prohibit distribution of, manufacture of, or possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance or a counterfeit controlled substance. Specific drugs, amounts, and penalties are described in Iowa Code PDF icon 124.401(1) Specific drugs, amounts, and penalties are described in PDF icon 21 USC 841(b). State and federal legal sanctions are subject to change by the General Assembly and Congress, respectively.

  1. Penalty Enhancement. The maximum term and fine increase significantly if state or federal penalty enhancement rules apply. Factors which raise maximum penalties under federal penalty enhancement rules include death or serious bodily injury; prior drug conviction; placing at risk or distributing a drug to a person under 21 years old; using a person under 18 years of age to assist in the drug violation; and distributing or manufacturing a drug within 1,000 feet of school property, including The University of Iowa campus. Penalty enhancement rules apply to defendants 18 years or older. Factors which raise maximum penalties under state penalty enhancement rules include using firearms or dangerous weapons in the commission of the offense.
  2. Possession. Both state and federal laws prohibit possession of a controlled substance. The maximum state and federal penalty for possession is confinement for one year and a fine of $1,500. The maximum term and fine increase significantly in the event that state or federal penalty enhancement rules apply. In addition, a person in possession of a small amount of a controlled substance for personal use may be assessed a civil fine up to $10,000 in addition to any criminal fine.
  3. Driving While Intoxicated. Under state law, a person found guilty of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (blood concentration of .08 or greater) shall be imprisoned for not less than 48 hours and fined not less than $500 for the first offense. For the second Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) offense the minimum period of confinement is seven days and a fine of not less than $750. The minimum period of confinement for the third or subsequent OWI convictions is thirty days and could be up to one year, with a fine of not less than $750.

    The driver's license of an individual under 21 years of age who is found guilty of operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .02 percent or more is subject to a 60-day suspension even if the individual is not legally intoxicated. For individuals convicted of OWI, the period of suspension is 180 days or more regardless of age.
  4. Alcohol-Related Offenses. Under state law, the drinking age is 21. State law prohibits:
    1. public intoxication;
    2. driving a motor vehicle with an unsealed receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage in the vehicle;
    3. giving or selling an alcoholic beverage to anyone intoxicated; and
    4. possession of an alcoholic beverage under legal age.
  5. The City of Iowa City prohibits:
    1. consumption of an alcoholic beverage in a public place; and
    2. possession of an unsealed receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage in a public place.
    Each of these offenses is a simple misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $100 or a jail sentence of up to 30 days. For certain offenses, state law provides for mandatory fines and suspension of driver's licenses. For example, the mandatory fine for under-age possession of alcohol is $100 for a first offense and $200 for a second offense. A person who gives, sells, or furnishes an alcoholic beverage to a person under the legal age commits a serious misdemeanor and is subject to a fine of between $500 and $1,500 and in addition may be sentenced to jail for up to one year. If injury results from the furnishing of alcohol, an aggravated misdemeanor is committed, and the guilty person is subject to a fine of between $500 and $5,000 and in addition may be sentenced up to two years in prison. If death results from the furnishing of alcohol, a class D felony is committed, and a guilty person may be sentenced to a prison term not to exceed five years.

12.5 Criminal Conviction Reporting Under Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988

Under the PDF icon Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988, faculty or staff members who receive a criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace must notify the head of their department within 5 days of the conviction. The head of the department must in turn notify the Office of Sponsored Programs within 5 days of learning of the conviction. If any of the employee's compensation is from a federal contract or grant program, the University must then notify the contracting or granting agency within 10 days after receiving notice from the employee or of learning about an employee's criminal drug statute conviction for conduct in the workplace.

12.6 Resources Available to University Faculty and Staff

(Amended 9/12)

The UI Employee Assistance Program (UI EAP) is a University-sponsored resource for those experiencing a variety of health and well-being-related concerns, including concerns relative to drug and alcohol use and abuse. UI EAP provides faculty, staff, and their immediate family members an opportunity to seek professional, confidential assistance at no cost to the employee. "Immediate family" includes the employee's spouse or domestic partner and dependent children. UI EAP provides assessment and referrals to community, regional, or national providers of substance abuse treatment. UI EAP also provides brief counseling services (typically up to four sessions within a year). Consultation services are provided to supervisors, University Human Resources professionals, colleagues, and coworkers. UI EAP provides educational programming and training in how to seek assistance, make referrals, or better understand the challenges of drinking and addictions. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact the UI Employee Assistance Program, 121-50 University Services Building, (319) 335-2085, or; or visit their website at

(See also Drug Free Environment and Campus Security Policy Notification at