College Alcohol Amnesty Policies (“Good Samaritan” Policies)

College alcohol amnesty policies for students are becoming wide-spread. They help protect the health and safety of students. In addition, they help protect colleges from expensive legal suits.


I.   What is College Alcohol Amnesty?

II.  Harm Reduction

III. Legal Risk

IV.  Short List

V.   Reading

I. What is College Alcohol Amnesty?

These Good Samaritan policies are designed to protect the health and lives of students who over-consume alcohol. If they need medical help, speed is important. College alcohol amnesty assures people that they won’t be disciplined for obtaining that help. Nor will the person receiving that help. Such policies typically provide amnesty only if they subsequently complete an intervention or alcohol education program.

II. Harm Reduction

Amnesty programs are a harm reduction policy. Other harm reduction policies require people to use seat safety belts or to use smoke detectors in their living quarters.

A good Samaritan unselfishly helps another in need.

Some critics have suggested that college alcohol amnesty policies encourage abusive drinking. However, few people would argue that requiring seat belts leads people to drive faster. Or that smoke detectors lead people to smoke in bed.

Not punishing those who seek help for a medical emergency but requiring them to undergo intervention or alcohol education does not encourage them to endanger their lives again.

III. Legal Risk

Colleges that lack medical amnesty policies may be putting the safety of their students at risk. As a result, they may be sued. They could be legally liable for not having sensible or reasonable policies to protect their students.

Hundreds of colleges and universities have adopted medical amnesty policies.  They clearly place high value on protecting their students from harm or death.

IV. A Short List: College Alcohol Amnesty Programs

A very short partial list of these concerned institutions includes these.

college alcohol amnestyAlfred University
American University
Appalachian State University
Aurora University
Babson College
Ball State University
Benedictine University
Boston University
college alcohol amnestyBrown University
California Institute of Technology
Carnegie Mellon
Clemson University
College of William and Mary
Cornell University
Dartmouth College
Denison University
college alcohol amnestyDrake University
Duke University
Elmira College
Elon University
Emerson College
Emory University
Fordam University
Franklin & Marshall College
college alcohol amnestyFranklin Pierce University
Furman University
George Washington University
Georgia College
Gettysburg College
Hampshire College
Lake Superior State University
Marietta College
college alcohol amnestyHarvard University
Hanover College
Hastings College
Humboldt State University
Ithaca College
Kalamazoo College
Kenyon College
Keystone College
Lafayette College
collee alcohol amnestyLake Forest College
Lehigh University
Lynn University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Michigan Technical University
Minnesota State University Moorhead
Misericordia University
Missouri State University
Monmouth University
college alcohol amnestyMuhlenberg College
New Mexico State University
New York University
Northeastern University
Oberlin College
Ohio State University (Columbus)
Ohio University
Olivet College
Palm Beach Atlantic University
college alcohol amnestyPomona College
Princeton University
Purdue University
Ramapo College of New Jersey
Rhodes College
Rice University
Rider University
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rollins College
college alcohol amnestyMonmouth University
St. Benedict/St. John’s University
St. Lawrence University
Smith College
Santa Clara University
State University of New York at Binghamton
State University of New York College at Fredonia
Stetson University
Swarthmore College
college alcohol amnestyTri-State University (Trine University)
Truman State University
Tulane University
Union College (NY)
Unity College (Maine)
University of Colorado at Boulder
”                       Connecticut
”                       Connecticut
”                       Delaware
alcohol enforcement”                       Florida
”                       Georgia
”                       Kansas
”                       Massachusetts
”                       Nebraska-Lincoln
”                       New Hampshire
”                       Northern Iowa
”                       Oregon
”                       Pennsylvania
drinking and lower risk of dementia”                       Scranton
”                       Southern Maine
”                       Tampa
”                       Texas at Austin
”                       Vermont
”                       Virginia
Vanderbilt University
Vassar College
Washington College
college alcohol amnestyWellesley College
Yale University


Be sure to visit Binge Drinking

V. Reading: College Alcohol Amnesty

Carpenter, T. Advocating for a Comprehensive and Mandatory Medical Amnesty or Good Samaritan Policy.