Amnesty Policy

Student health and safety are of primary concern at the university. As such, in cases of significant intoxication as a result of alcohol or other substances, the university encourages individuals to seek medical assistance for themselves or others.

If medical assistance is sought, the Dean of Students Office will not pursue conduct charges against the following individuals for violations of the university’s Alcoholic Beverages or Drugs policies:

  • The intoxicated student and
  • All student(s) actively involved in assisting the intoxicated student.
Actively assisting requires that an individual:
  • Call William & Mary Police (221-4596 or 911) or seek another individual qualified to assess the student’s condition such as a Resident Advisor (RA) or other Residence Life professional,
  • Monitor the intoxicated student’s condition.
The following are not covered by the Medical Amnesty Policy:
  • Students waiting until the police or other authority arrive before seeking assistance
  • Action by police or other law enforcement personnel
  • Violations of the Code of Conduct other than the alcohol/drugs policy
  • Possession with the intent to distribute drugs.
Actions by the Office of Student Conduct:
  • The intoxicated student (and possibly those who were attending to/assisting the student)will be required to meet with a member of the Dean of Students staff who may issue educational requirements that may include, but are not limited to, alcohol and/or drug education, counseling, and/or a substance abuse assessment.
  • Serious or repeated incidents will prompt a higher degree of concern/response.
  • Failure to complete the educational assignments or treatment recommendations normally will result in disciplinary action.
  • The student will be responsible for any costs associated with drug or alcohol education interventions.
Application to Student Organizations:

In circumstances where an organization is found to be hosting an event where medical assistance is sought for an intoxicated guest, the organization (depending upon the circumstances) may be held responsible for violations of the Alcohol Policy or Drug Policy. However, the organization’s willingness to seek medical assistance for a member or guest will be viewed as a mitigating factor in determining a sanction for any violations of the Alcohol Policy or Drug Policy.

Disclosure of Amnesty Incidents:

The university may disclose amnesty incidents with the student’s consent. The university also may disclose an incident if a student is applying for a position within Residence Life, the Conduct system, Orientation, study abroad if an incident occurred within one year of application, or if the university has received subsequent alcohol or drug related incidents involving the student.

Illustrative Examples:

1) John and Sarah are at a party when Sarah begins to show signs of intoxication (slurred speech, unsteady on her feet). John decides to walk Sarah home. While walking, a WMPD officer sees Sarah walking unsteadily and stops her. The WMPD officer cites Sarah for underage possession/consumption of alcohol and public intoxication. John also is cited for underage possession/consumption.

The Amnesty policy does not apply because John was not actively seeking medical attention for Sarah, and he did not seek out a qualified individual (such as an RA) to assess Sarah’s condition.

2) Ramon comes home to find his roommate, Zach, passed out on his bed. Ramon finds the RA who determines that Zach needs medical attention. The RA calls WMPD who sends EMS, and EMS transports Zach to the hospital. The RA documents the incident and notes that Ramon also appeared to be intoxicated.

The Amnesty policy does apply to both Ramon and Zach because Ramon sought assistance from an RA for Zach. Both students will receive amnesty and will not receive disciplinary charges as a result of this incident. Both will receive some form of alcohol education as a result of this incident.

3) A Williamsburg Police officer observes a large group of people exiting the delis late one night. The officer observes Jean being held up by two of her friends; Jean is unable to speak coherently and is passing in and out of consciousness. The Williamsburg Police officer arrests Jean and transports her to jail.

Jean will not receive amnesty because her friends were not seeking medical attention for her. Had the friends affirmatively called 911, Jean would receive amnesty and likely would have been transported to the hospital in lieu of being arrested (although our policy does not apply to the Williamsburg Police).

4) Alex is at a party of the Pi Gamma Gamma fraternity. Sometime during the party, Alex passes out. A member of the fraternity calls for medical assistance, and Alex is taken to the hospital. Alex’s friends later confirm that he had been consuming liquor at the party, and Alex is 19 years old.

Alex will receive amnesty. Pi Gamma Gamma will not receive amnesty because the policy does not apply to organizations. However, the organization will receive a lesser sanction because its members called for assistance; conversely, had the organization not called for assistance, it would receive a harsher than normal sanction.