Laws Regulating Use of Alcohol and Other Drugs

Drug-Related Federal and State Laws

Federal and state laws prohibit the possession, use and distribution and manufacture of controlled substances. (The term “controlled substance” means those substances included in Schedule I through IV of Section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act and as further defined by regulation at 21 CFR 1300.11 through 1300.15 and by Pennsylvania law 204 PA Code 303.1-303.9.) Sanctions upon conviction range from fines to probation to imprisonment. Amounts of fines, terms of probation, or years of imprisonment are generally contingent upon the circumstances and amounts of drugs in possession, sold, distributed or made.

Financial Aid Implications of Drug Offenses

Effective July 1, 2000, a conviction in a state of federal court for a drug-related offense will result in a student losing eligibility for federal financial aid.

Applicable Legal Sanctions under Pennsylvania State Law

(This is a summary only and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone wishing legal advice should consult a lawyer.)

Drug Offenses

1. Unlawful Possession of Controlled Substances 35 P.S. 780-113

Offense: Possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana or less than 8 grams of hashish.
Sanction: Misdemeanor; maximum jail sentence 30 day and/or fine of $500.

Offense: Possession of cocaine, PCP, methamphetamine, heroin, designer drugs, LSD, phenobarbital, mescaline, peyote, psilocybin and all other controlled substances and over 30 grams of marijuana or over 8 grams of hashish.
Sanction: Misdemeanor; one-year maximum jail sentence and/or $5,000 fine for the first offense. Three-year maximum jail sentence and/or $25,000 fine for second and subsequent offenses.

2. Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession with Intent to Manufacture or Deliver Controlled Substances 35. P.S. 780-113

Offense: Manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver heroin and other narcotics classified as Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substances and designer drugs.
Sanction: Felony; maximum jail sentence of 15 years and/or $250,000 fine.

Offense: Manufacture, delivery, possession with intent to manufacture or deliver cocaine, methamphetamine, phencyclidine and marijuana in excess of 1,000 pounds.
Sanction: Felony; maximum jail sentence of 10 years and/or $100,000 fine.

Offense: Manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver marijuana (less than 1,000 pounds), mescaline, peyote, LSD, Psilocybin and all other Schedule I, II and III controlled substances.
Sanction: Felony; maximum jail sentence of three years and/or $10,000 fine.

3. Trafficking Drugs to Minors 18 PA C.S.A.6314

A person over 18 years of age who distributes or possesses with intent to distribute a controlled substance to a minor shall be sentenced to a minimum of one year in jail. An additional two years is added to the mandatory one-year jail sentence if the offense was intended to engage a minor in drug trafficking or habitual use, or was committed within 1,000 feet of a school.

4. Drug Paraphernalia 35 P.S. 780-113

Offense: Possession, delivery or advertisement of drug paraphernalia.
Sanction: Misdemeanor. Maximum jail sentence of one year and/or $2,500 fine.

Offense: The delivery of drug paraphernalia to a person under 18 years of age, who was three or more years younger than the deliverer.
Sanction: Second degree misdemeanor, maximum jail sentence of two years and/or fine of $5,000.

Alcohol-Related Offenses

Underage drinking

Offense: Purchase, consumption or possession of alcohol beverage by a person under 21 years old.
Offense: Misrepresentation of age to purchase alcohol.
Offense: Possession of a false ID card.
Sanction: First Offense: $300 fine and suspension of driving privileges for 90 days. Subsequent Offense: $500 and suspension of driving privileges for one year (2nd violation); or two years (3 or more violations).

Offense: Altering, selling or manufacturing false identification.
Sanction: First Offense: $1,000 fine and suspension of driving privileges for 90 days. Subsequent Offenses: $2,500 fine. Maximum penalties are $5,000 in fines and two years in prison.

Offense: Selling or furnishing alcoholic beverages to those under 21 years old. Furnish is defined as follows: to supply, give or provide to, or allow a minor to possess on premises or property owned or controlled by the person charged.
Sanction: First Offense: $1,000 fine. Subsequent Offenses: $2,500 fine. Maximum penalties are $2,500 in fines and one-year imprisonment.

Offense: Driving under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance or both, to a degree that renders the person incapable of driving.

If over 21, Pennsylvania State Law says that a person is intoxicated when their Blood Alcohol Level reaches 0.08 percent. If under 21, a person is considered DWI if the BAC is .02 (the equiv. of one drink). Driving ability is affected as early as .03 percent (which is the equivalent of one can of beer in a 150 lb. man).

When you receive your driver’s license, you have given your consent to submit to one or more chemical tests of breath, blood or urine for the purpose of determining your Blood Alcohol Level or the presence of a controlled substance. Refusal results in a 12-month suspension of your driver’s license.

Sanction: First Offense: may be eligible for ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition.) This is a special form of probation for a period of time with requirements to be met. If person not eligible for ARD, there are fines, a minimum of 48 hours in jail and other requirements to be met. Subsequent Offenses: higher penalties

Offense: Public Drunkenness
Sanction: Maximum fine of $300 and/or up to 90 days in jail.

Offense: Open container in a car.
Sanction: Fine

Pennsylvania has no state law to prohibit open containers of alcohol in public. Many local governments, however, have enacted such ordinances.