University Administrative Policies


UNM_Policy_Office-L communicates important policy announcements (such as policy approvals, revisions, or campus review-and-comment periods).

UNM Policy Office

MSC05 3357
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Scholes Hall
114 A and B

Phone: (505) 277-2069

Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual - Policy 2140: Use and Possession of Alcohol on University Property

Date Originally Issued: 03-21-1997
Revised: 08-02-2004, 12-01-2006, 09-21-2007, 01-01-2008, 06-01-2012, 03-08-2016, 12-12-2016, 08-14-2018

Authorized by RPM 2.6 ("Drug Free Environment")

Process Owner: Associate Vice President, Student Life

1. General

The use and possession of alcohol is prohibited on University property, except as authorized in this policy. For the purposes of this policy, the "use" of alcohol refers to the possession, service, sale, or consumption of alcoholic beverages. This policy applies to students, student organizations, faculty, staff, University departments and other units, and visitors. It applies to property owned, leased by, or operated by the University and to all events sponsored by the University or its units. It does not apply to property owned by the University and leased to others, unless it would otherwise apply.

The University recognizes that alcoholic beverages are legal commodities that may be used responsibly by persons of legal drinking age. The University also recognizes that alcohol use may lead to significant individual and societal harm.  This policy is intended to reduce alcohol-related harm while allowing for the legal, safe, and responsible use of alcohol.  The University also recognizes that diversity of opinion and freedom of choice are the foundations of institutions of higher education, and that the use of alcoholic beverages by those of legal age is a matter of personal choice. Individuals who choose to use alcohol on University property in accordance with this policy must comply with state law and University policies and procedures, and conduct themselves responsibly, mindful of the rights of others.

2. Use of Alcoholic Beverages

University employees are prohibited from drinking alcoholic beverages or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages during their working hours, or while operating or riding in a University vehicle. For more information refer to UAP 3270 ("Suspected Employee Impairment at Work”).  

The use of alcohol on University property is prohibited except as follows or where licensed.

2.1. Receptions or Other Hospitality Events

Alcohol may be used at receptions or other hospitality events sponsored by a University department or other unit when (1) approved by the University President or designee in advance, in writing, and (2) served by a licensed alcohol server. Events of this type should normally involve special guests of the University or otherwise be a non-routine occurrence, such as a reception for visiting dignitaries or a reception in connection with an academic conference. The function must be by invitation only and held in a location that can reasonably be closed to the public. The following additional restrictions apply:

  • Only beer and/or wine may be served.
  • Sale of alcohol is prohibited. Cash bars and entrance fees intended to help defray the cost of providing alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
  • Service of alcohol at office parties or similar office social events is prohibited.

2.2. Research

Alcohol may be used for research. Such functions must be approved in advance, in writing, by the University President or designee.

2.3. Licensed Locations

Alcoholic beverages may be sold and served at any UNM location possessing a legal New Mexico Governmental Liquor License to sell and serve alcoholic beverages. Approval by the University President or designee is not required.

Locations with a New Mexico Governmental Liquor License include: Athletics (South Campus), UNM Alumni Association (Hodgin Hall), University Club, Student Union Building, and UNM Championship Golf Course.

2.4. Housing

 Alcoholic beverages may be used by persons twenty-one (21) years of age or older in:

  • UNM Student Family Housing 
  • Student housing operated by a third party pursuant to a written agreement with the University; and
  • Housing provided by the University to employees.

2.5. Athletic Venues 

2.5.1 Tailgating

Individuals of legal age (21 years old or older), who have tickets or invitations to UNM sanctioned events, may consume alcoholic beverages in designated parking areas at the South Campus before the events:

  • At privately hosted tailgate parties, and
  • In certain tented parking lot areas that the University has leased to private groups, in accordance with the terms of their leases.

2.5.2. Tailgating Rules

Advertising or announcements as to availability of alcohol are prohibited. All participants must comply with state laws regarding the use of alcohol, University Athletic Department rules and regulations, and signage posted in the tailgating areas. There shall be no kegs or use of devices that facilitate the rapid ingestion of beer or other alcoholic beverages, e.g., "beer bongs," and no sale of alcohol.

2.5.3 Licensed Locations

Ticketholders may not bring alcohol into any athletic events.  Pursuant to Section 2.3, alcohol may be served and sold in licensed locations at UNM sanctioned events at the South Campus to individuals of legal age (21 years old or older) who have tickets or invitations to those events.

2.6. University House

Alcohol may be used at University House by its residents and their guests.

2.7. Food Preparation

Alcohol may be used in food preparation in University food production areas.

3. State Law

State law governs many aspects of the consumption and serving of alcohol. All individuals who possess, serve, sell, or consume alcohol on University property must comply with the applicable legal requirements.

4. Purchase of Alcohol

The purchase of alcohol with University funds is prohibited except as follows:

4.1. Alcohol may be purchased for hospitality events for guests of the University when such beverages are customary and reasonable considering the facts and circumstances of the event.  Payment or reimbursement for the purchase of alcohol shall not be made from contract and grant funds. See Section 5.2.1 of UAP 4000 ("Allowable and Unallowable Expenditures")

4.2. Alcohol may be purchased for research. The purchase must be approved in advance, in writing, by the University Controller after recommendation by the cognizant dean or director.  See Section 2.2. herein for approval requirements of function. 

4.3. Alcohol may be purchased by University locations with a legal New Mexico Governmental Liquor License (see Section 2.3 above).

5. Procedures

5.1. Request for Approval

A department sponsoring a function authorized by Sections 2.1. and 2.2. herein must complete a Request to Serve Beer or Wine on University Property (Exhibit A) and send it fifteen (15) business days prior to the reception or function to the Student Union Administrative Office for review.   All requests will then be forwarded to the President's Office for approval. If an entity outside the University co-sponsors an event, the co-sponsor must obtain liquor liability insurance in the amounts required by the University. Proof of insurance must be sent to University Counsel no later than ten (10) business days prior to the event. The University must be named an additional insured.

5.2. Restrictions

Whenever alcohol is used on University property, the following restrictions apply, except for the Tap Room in the Student Union Building which operates under a separate set of safe-serving procedures, some of which overlap with the restrictions below.

  • The sponsors must take precautionary measures to ensure that alcohol is not used by persons who appear intoxicated; and/or who are under the age of twenty-one (21). 
  • Sponsors must follow principles of good hosting which include having non-alcoholic beverages and food available, and providing planned programs. The use of alcohol shall not be the sole purpose of any activity.
  • Non-alcoholic beverages must be available at the same place and be as noticeable as the alcoholic beverages.
  • A reasonable portion of the budget for the event shall be spent on food; see Section 5.2.1 of UAP 4000 ("Allowable and Unallowable Expenditures").
  • Any form of a "drinking contest" in activities or promotions is prohibited.
  • There shall be no kegs or use of devices that facilitate the rapid ingestion of beer or other alcoholic beverages, such as ”beer bongs,” and no sale of alcohol.

5.3. Promotional Materials

Alcohol shall not be mentioned in any promotional materials for an event and shall not be used to encourage participation. This provision does not apply to the Tap Room.

6. Chartered Student Organizations

Chartered student organizations must comply with state law, this policy, and to any provisions in the Chartered Student Organization Policy governing the use of alcohol. Fraternities and sororities must also comply with any provisions in the Fraternity and Sorority Risk Management Policy governing the use of alcohol.

7. Education, Support Groups, and Services for Alcohol-Related Problems

In light of social and health problems associated with alcohol abuse, the University will provide educational services to faculty, staff, and students about alcohol-related problems. Students, faculty, and staff may get assistance from the following University programs.

7.1. Alcohol Information and Educational Presentations

The following University programs provide alcohol information and educational presentations:

  • Campus Office of Substance Abuse Prevention, COSAP (students, staff, and faculty)
  • Student Health Center: Health Education Program (students only)
  • Counseling Assistance and Referral Service - CARS (faculty and staff only)
  • Employee Wellness (faculty and staff only)

 7.2. Consultation and/or Referral for Alcohol Related Problems

The following University programs provide consultation and/or referral for alcohol-related problems:

  • Student Health Center Counseling and Therapy Services (CATS) (students only)
  • Counseling Assistance and Referral Service - CARS (faculty and staff only)
  • UNM Psychiatric Center Addiction and Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) (students, staff, faculty, community members)
  • AGORA Crisis Center

8. Related Policies

Other policies dealing with alcohol on campus include:

9. Attachments

Exhibit A Request to Serve Beer or Wine on University Property