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UGA's New Alcohol-Drug Policy Began Two-Year Trial in May

University of Georgia's revised alcohol-drug policy went into effect for a two-year trial starting with the Maymester term. The revised policy, approved in late April, will cease to automatically suspend all second-time offenders of UGA's alcohol policies. The policy will not change for students with an underage DUI, however, or for any second-offense violations officials deem particularly egregious.

UGA, located in Athens, has an alcohol policy that forbids any students younger than 21 from possessing or drinking alcohol, or possessing or using illegal drugs. Students who violate the rule are required to take an alcohol and drug education class and be on probation for 6-12 months. Under the old rules, a student violating the policy a second time faced an automatic suspension. The new policy does away with the automatic suspension for second offenders. 

President Michael Adams says that the policy was not changed to weaken the rule, but to give officials more leeway when handling cases. He said that too many minor second violation cases were clogging the disciplinary system, and the policy will help with efficiency and allow officials to focus on more serious cases. Officials still have the option to suspend a student after a second violation. Students whose second violation involves DUI will still be automatically suspended.

Automatic suspension will be one of several options disciplinary officials can choose to impose on second offenders. Other options include additional probation, community service, and advanced alcohol and drug education classes.

 

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