Location: Bowdoin / Security / Crime Prevention/Safety / Alcohol Policy and Information

Office of Safety and Security

Alcohol Policy

  1. State Laws
    Bowdoin College students must comply with Maine state laws regarding the consumption, sale, purchase, and delivery of alcohol. A summary of applicable Maine law is provided below:
    • Individuals must be at least twenty-one years of age to purchase, possess, or consume alcoholic beverages in Maine.
    • It is illegal for minors to purchase, consume, possess, or transport liquor.
    • It is illegal to falsify official Maine state identification cards or any identification material for the purpose of procuring alcoholic beverages. Moreover, no person may misrepresent age or practice deceit in the procurement of an identification card, possess a false identification card, or loan or transfer an identification card to another for the purpose of procuring liquor.
    • Only licensed liquor dealers may sell alcoholic beverages in Maine. Charging admission to parties where alcoholic beverages are available "free" or other similar devices is illegal, as are any similar arrangements having similar effects.
    • No person may knowingly furnish, procure, deliver or sell liquor to a minor or allow any minor under his/her control to consume liquor.
    • It is illegal to knowingly procure in any way and/or assist in procuring, furnishing, giving, delivering, or selling liquor to/for an intoxicated person.
    • Consumption of alcoholic beverages in a public place is illegal without a special license or permit issued by authorized Maine state officials.
    • No person may drink liquor while operating a motor vehicle on any public way. In addition, operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% or higher is illegal and could result in a suspension of your driver's license or permit and/or a fine of as much as $500. If you are under age twenty-one, the state considers you intoxicated if you have consumed any amount of alcohol.
  2. Hard Liquor
    No student, regardless of age, may possess hard liquor in College residences. Hard liquor with an alcohol content of more than 10 percent alcohol by volume that is found in campus residences by Security will be confiscated. Generally, this excludes malt beverages and hard liquor mixes. Wine and champagne may be approved at the discretion of the Director of Residential Life.
  3. Drinking Games
    Drinking games, encouraging the rapid ingestion of alcohol, are not permitted. Such games include, but are not limited to: Quarters, Beer Pong, Beirut, Power Hour, and Flip Cup. Paraphernalia identified as having been used in a drinking game, including tables, may be confiscated by Security and will become property of the College.
  4. Personal Responsibility
    Students influenced by alcohol are fully responsible for their actions and any damages they may cause. Individuals are also accountable for verbal or physical abuse toward other individuals or personal property. In addition, conduct violations may result in formal disciplinary action, including financial restitution for any and all damages incurred.
  5. Student Activity Fees
    Student groups cannot use student activity fees or any other College funds for the purchase of alcohol, without permission of the office of the dean of student affairs.
  6. Restricted Areas
    Drinking in public places (including outdoor areas, residence hallways, stairwells, etc.) or outside private rooms is prohibited by College policy and Maine State Law. Except under special circumstances, alcoholic beverages are not permitted in Kresge Auditorium, Hawthorne-Longfellow Library, Pickard Theater, Morrell Gymnasium, Farley Field House, Dayton Arena, Hatch Science Library, Watson Arena, academic or other buildings, and facilities where the primary function of the building would be intruded upon or potentially impaired through the use of individuals consuming alcoholic beverages.
  7. Parties/Social Functions
    The College allows parties/social functions with alcohol on Friday and Saturday nights while classes are in session.
    • All parties or social events must be conducted in accordance with Maine state laws as noted above.
    • Registration
      1. Students sponsoring a party or social event at which alcohol will be served or which may draw attention to itself due to noise or other circumstances must complete a party registration form and receive signed approval. When the event is planned for a College House, residence hall, apartment, or campus common space, approval must be obtained from the Director of Residential Life or his/her designee. Party registration forms must be submitted to the appropriate College official by noon Thursday. Forms submitted after this deadline will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
      2. Registration regulations pertain to events planned for all College facilities, including College Houses, residence halls, and apartments.
      3. Small, intimate gatherings may be held in residence hall private rooms or apartments. Civility and respect for other residents is essential; thus gatherings in private rooms in the residence halls must not adversely affect the immediate environment. A small gathering of this sort need not be registered with the College, unless it may draw attention to itself due to noise or other circumstances. Such gatherings are, however, subject to all other regulations regarding alcohol use described in this policy.
      4. The College recognizes that there are legitimate occasions when a spontaneous gathering of individuals may occur that would ordinarily violate the provisions of 7.b.1. above due to the fact that the gathering was not planned or registered in advance. In such cases, which should constitute the exception rather than the rule, it is the responsibility of the individual or individuals hosting the gathering to contact the dean-on-call through Security (ext. 3314) at the time of the gathering in order to request permission to host a spontaneous party or social event, as defined in 7.b.1. above. Upon consultation with the host(s), the dean-on-call will either approve or deny permission for the gathering, based upon adherence to alcohol policy regulations and other relevant considerations. Such spontaneous gatherings shall be subject to the same regulations governing approved parties registered in advance.
    • Responsible hosts/sponsors must be named prior to any party or social event, and be clearly identified and available at the function. All hosts must abstain completely from drinking alcohol over the course of the event. Hosts may call Bowdoin College Security for assistance with any alcohol violations or difficult situations that may arise during an event. Bowdoin Security will conduct a pre-party check with the hosts and check in periodically at approved social functions to ensure that the event is operating in accordance with the Alcohol Policy, fire code regulations, noise ordinances, and the details stipulated on the party registration form. Security officers will address violations they observe and will request the name and identification number of any student believed to be engaged in underage drinking or in violation of other aspects of the Alcohol Policy or Bowdoin College Social Code. Although Security will make every effort to work with hosts to address and remedy alcohol violations or other problems, officers are authorized to close parties at which violations of policy or other serious problems are evident. Should Bowdoin Security come across an unregistered event at which alcohol is present, such parties will be closed immediately. Party hosts are also responsible for ensuring that all unreasonable messes are cleaned and common areas are restored to their original appearance following a social event.Violations of alcohol regulations discovered by Security will be reported to the office of the dean of student affairs and appropriate disciplinary action will ensue. Hosts are responsible and liable for the conduct of their guests at parties. Hosts may face disciplinary action for Alcohol Policy violations that occur at parties they sponsor, and, under certain circumstances, may face criminal or civil proceedings under jurisdiction of Maine State law. Individuals responsible for organizing or hosting an unregistered event will likewise be held responsible and liable for alcohol-related violations committed by their guests, and face additional sanctions for failing to register the event in accordance with the guidelines specified in items b.1. through b.4. above.
    • In order to minimize the potential for conflict between academic and social priorities, the College will approve parties or other social events involving alcohol for Friday and Saturday nights only. Under unusual circumstances, occasional exceptions to this regulation may be permitted. However, the granting of such exceptions would require both a compelling rationale and substantive assurance that the proposed event would not compromise the assumed academic priorities of individuals involved in or otherwise affected by the event. Any requests for exceptions to this regulation must be submitted to the Director of Residential Life or his/her designee at least one week in advance of the proposed event.
    • Due to fire safety ordinances, the total number in attendance at a party or social event must not exceed the legal capacity of the facility. Fire capacity information is available on the party registration form.
    • Everyone attending a party or social function where alcohol is served must carry valid identification that verifies their date of birth. Bowdoin students must also carry College ID. This is important for the individuals involved and for the protection of the event's hosts.
    • Alcohol shall be served only to party guests of legal drinking age. It is the responsibility of the host(s) to verify the legal age of all guests consuming alcohol, and to provide for adequate control over the distribution of alcohol at the party so that minors are not served.
    • Alcohol must be served in a professional manner by designated bartenders only. In unlicensed premises, bartenders must be twenty-one years of age or older.
    • Alcohol is limited to beer or wine in quantity appropriate to the number of individuals attending the event who are of legal drinking age. Hard liquor and drinking games are not allowed. The appropriate quantity of alcohol to be available at any given party or social function will be determined beforehand through consultation between party host(s) and the Director of Residential Life or her/his designee. If beer is to be provided from kegs, kegs must be registered with the Director of Residential Life (i.e., keg serial numbers provided before the party). Other common sources (including, but not limited to, party balls, punch bowls, etc.) are not permitted without the permission of the Director of Residential Life or her designee.
    • Alternative (i.e., non-alcoholic) beverages must be available in quantity appropriate to the number of people at the event. Non-alcoholic beverages must be visible, readily accessible, and available in reasonable quantity throughout the party or event. Imitation alcoholic beverages, if served, must also be registered with the Director of Residential Life or her designee.
    • Food must be available in quantity appropriate to the number of guests.
    • Intoxicated individuals must not be served.
    • Due to Brunswick town ordinance, hosts must not serve alcohol after 1:00 a.m.
    • Hosts must not serve alcohol before 7:30 p.m. unless special permission is provided by the Director of Residential Life or her/his designee.
    • Events involving alcohol are not permitted during final exam and reading periods.
    • Events involving alcohol are required to be registered during Senior Week.
    • Advertising of parties or social events must not depict the presence of alcohol.
    • Hosts of parties or social functions cannot charge admission that directly or indirectly allows or signifies access to alcohol, nor can money be solicited or collected from guests at any time during the event for the purchase of alcohol.
    • Alcohol must not be used as a "prize" at any function.
    • Hosts are responsible for clean-up immediately following an event. This includes the outside of the party location.
    • Hosts are responsible for removing kegs from the party space by Monday afternoon. If kegs are not removed by this time they will be confiscated.
  8. Pub Regulations
    • Jack Magee's Pub is an officially licensed College establishment where beer and wine are sold to individuals who are at least twenty-one years of age, and is subject to the same state laws that govern commercial establishments in Maine. No one may bring any alcohol into the Pub.
    • Pub managers and bartenders may request proof of age from any person attempting to purchase or consume alcohol. If appropriate documentation is not supplied, pub personnel will refuse any sale of alcoholic beverages.
    • Only Bowdoin College student identification and/or an official Maine or other state identification will be accepted as verification of legal age.
    • If, in the judgment of any pub bartender, an individual appears intoxicated, additional service will be refused.
    • Should the need arise, Bowdoin Security may be called for assistance. Instances of misbehavior or violations of College policies or State law by Bowdoin students may be reported to the office of the dean of student affairs for possible disciplinary action.