Alcohol and Drug

Alcohol and Drug


The Alcohol and Drug Policy establishes the principles that underpin the University’s approach concerning the consumption/use of alcohol or drugs, strategies which minimise the adverse impacts of these substances, and support available for staff and students suffering from an alcohol or drug problem.

Further information concerning observation descriptors for assessing whether a person may be intoxicated is provided within the Alcohol and Drug Schedule.



This policy aims to:
  • ensure   that the University is a safe place for people to work, study and visit
  • inform   staff and students about the support available to them if they suffer from an   alcohol or drug problem
  • encourage   strategies which minimise the adverse impacts of alcohol and drugs on the   workplace
  • minimise   the University’s exposure to legal action arising from the inappropriate consumption/use   of alcohol or drugs, and
  • protect   the reputation of the University.


The University requires that staff engaged in University business and students participating in learning, teaching and research activities must not be impaired by alcohol or other drugs. Further, inappropriate or unlawful conduct that arises out of the use of alcohol or drugs can expose the University and the individual to legal liability.


Drug   paraphernalia: any drug equipment, products and materials which are used, intended for use or designed for use in:
  • planting, propagating, growing,   harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing,   preparing, testing, analysing, repackaging, storing, containing or concealing   any illegal drug or plant; or
  • injecting, ingesting, inhaling or   otherwise introducing into the body an illegal drug.

Hazardous Location: buildings in which a fire   or explosion hazard exists due to the presence of (1) highly flammable gases,   flammable volatile liquids, their mixtures, or other highly flammable   substances, (2) combustible dust or filings in large enough quantity to cause   a fire or explosion, and/or (3) easily ignitable fibers or material.

Illegal Drugs:
  • a plant, drug or substance the Possession,   use or distribution of which is unlawful or, if only available on   prescription for which the relevant person does not have a prescription, and
  • a substance the chemical structure of   which is substantially similar to the chemical structure of an illegal drug   as described above and has a substantially similar effect to an illegal drug.

Impairment: altered normal physical or mental capacity resulting   in a diminished ability to perform assigned tasks in a safe and productive   manner, which may include the display of one or more of the signs listed in   the Alcohol and Drug Schedule.

Intoxicated (also referred to as being drunk):a person is intoxicated or drunk if they are Impaired to such an extent that:
  • the   person’s speech, balance, co-ordination or behavior is noticeably affected   and may include display of one or more of the signs listed in the Alcohol and   Drug Schedule, and
  • it   is reasonable in the circumstances to believe that the affected speech,   balance, co-ordination or behavior is the result of the consumption of alcohol   or another drug or a combination of drugs.

Intoxicating: includes stupefying.

Major Event: a large-scale, University related gathering of a few   hours or days to celebrate, honor, discuss or educate which attracts a large crowd or media attention.

Possession of anything by a person includes that person being   in control of that thing or it being in the vicinity of that person in   circumstances where it is reasonable to assume that it has in the recent past   been in that person’s possession or control.

Premises means any:
  • building, structure, aircraft, vehicle or   vessel, or
  • land or place (whether or not it is   enclosed, built on or covered by water).

Temporary Liquor Control Area: any University Premises designated for a   University related function or Major Event where alcohol is served or sold at   an unlicensed venue on campus.

University means:
  • Macquarie   University
  • any   affiliated institution
  • any   college, and
  • any   educational institution located on University Premises.
University Premises includes:
  • any Premises owned, operated, supervised,   occupied or controlled by the University or in which it has an interest   including Premises of which the University is the landlord
  • any Premises on which University   activities take place, and
  • any college Premises.
ScopeThe policy applies to staff, students and visitors of the University who are:
  • in   attendance at University Premises
  • taking   part in a University activity as a participant or representative of the University   (eg field trips, inter-University events, or conferences).


Macquarie   University is committed to providing a productive, safe and healthy work and study   environment.

Persons who are Impaired   by alcohol or drugs or Intoxicated at work or study seriously undermine the   University’s commitment. It can compromise the health, safety and welfare of the   individual concerned, as well as other staff, students and visitors, and may   affect an individual’s ability to perform their duties competently and safely.

  • Staff   must not, in the normal course of their duties, work while Impaired or   Intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.
  • Staff   and students must not operate a University vehicle, boat or machinery, and   must not work in laboratories, workshops or other Hazardous Locations if they   are Impaired by alcohol or drugs.
  • Students   and staff must not operate a vehicle on University grounds while Impaired or   Intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.
  • The   University does not support nor condone binge drinking and bans the   consumption of Illegal Drugs on University Premises.
  • Staff   using prescribed or over the counter medications are to be aware that these   medications can affect their ability to perform their work safely. Where the   use of such medications has an impact on the staff member’s ability to safely   discharge their duties, the staff member must notify their manager/ supervisor   and discuss suitable alternative work arrangements.
  • Students   taking prescribed or over the counter medication, should consider any side   effects and any adverse impact they may have on undertaking a learning   activity safely and must notify their course supervisor to discuss   alternatives.
  • Students   and staff must not be Intoxicated by alcohol or drugs on part of the   University Premises that the University community is entitled to access   (whether by payment of money, by virtue of membership of a student organisation   or other body or otherwise) or which is within sight or hearing of such a   place.
  • Students   and staff must not use, possess, grow, manufacture, store or distribute Illegal   Drugs or bring Drug Paraphernalia to University Premises.
  • Students   and staff must not give another person or cause another person to be given or   to consume food or drink which contains an Intoxicating substance if the   recipient is not aware the food or drink contains the Intoxicating substance   or that the food or drink contains more of an Intoxicating substance than the   recipient would reasonably expect it to contain.
  • Staff   and students who engage in inappropriate or unlawful behaviour on University Premises   as a result of consuming alcohol or other drugs may be subject to disciplinary   action.
  • The   University, in providing places for the sale and consumption of alcohol on University   Premises, will ensure that the sale is in accordance with all laws and   licensing conditions and requirements and provide access to non-alcoholic   alternatives.  Where required by   law or as a condition of any liquor licence, the University will ensure food   is available.

University Related Functions

There are times when it is appropriate for staff and/or students to consume alcohol in the course of their work/study or during associated activities such as:
  • work   related functions where alcohol is served
  • networking/business   engagement activities
  • campus   celebrations – such as graduation, launches or dedications
  • informal   gatherings of colleagues.

If alcohol is to be served or sold at a Temporary   Liquor Control Area, a person who holds such licences as are required by law must   be engaged to manage the service of alcoholic beverages.

Informal gatherings of staff are excluded from this   requirement where the alcohol is provided for the consumption by individuals   attending the gathering and is not for sale. Senior staff approving or   attending these events must ensure that alcohol is served and consumed   responsibly.

Where alcohol is consumed at such functions, staff and students must conduct themselves in a responsible and appropriate manner, including:
  • not consuming   alcohol to a level where they become Intoxicated
  • not   engaging in conduct that could impact negatively on the University or those   associated with the University and their respective reputations; or that damages   the University’s relationship with other parties
  • not   encouraging others to engage in the irresponsible use of alcohol
  • not   engaging in or encouraging others to use Illegal Drugs or engage in   activities that are violent, intimidating, and illegal or breach University   policies or Codes of Conduct.

In instances   where a person’s consumption of alcohol is deemed excessive, or where the   person becomes Intoxicated, a senior member of staff, security personnel or   other authorised personnel shall seek to have the Intoxicated person removed   from the function.  In these   instances, the senior member of staff, security personnel or other authorised   person should ensure that the Intoxicated person has a safe option of getting   home (eg taxi, relative can pick them up).  The University may recover the cost of transport from the   Intoxicated person.

Major Events

Staff, students   and visitors attending a Major Event have a choice as to whether they will   consume alcohol or not. The University is committed to providing an   environment that protects the right of staff and students to attend these   events without consuming alcohol or experiencing pressure to do so.

All Major Events   will be managed in accordance with all applicable laws and licensing conditions   and requirements and the University’s policies.

The sale of   food, low or non-alcoholic beverages, and the provision of alcohol free zones   are a mandatory component of the University’s strategy for Major Events.

Alcohol   consumption will only be permitted within specified, sign-posted, alcohol   access and consumption zones during Major Events.

Suitably trained   staff must be engaged to ensure that alcohol is served in accordance with all   laws and licensing conditions and requirements.

Where a person has   become Intoxicated at a Major Event, they will be removed from the event and   re-entry to some or all University Premises will be denied.  In appropriate circumstances, the   University may call on the assistance of the Police.

University Support

The University   will make available to staff and students information about responsible   alcohol use, harm minimisation and cessation programs for people who are   addicted to alcohol or use Illegal Drugs, as well as informing people about this   policy.

Confidential Referral and   Counseling for Drug and Alcohol Related Problems

The University   acknowledges that staff and students may experience problems as a result of   using alcohol or other drugs. While this does not excuse poor performance, alcohol   and drug related problems must be addressed in a supportive manner.

The University   will provide support to staff by assisting the staff member with referral for   treatment and confidential counseling services. Referral will be coordinated   between the staff member and their medical practitioner.

Students who are   identified as having a drug and/or alcohol problem(s) will be referred to   Campus Wellbeing for referral to appropriate treatment and counseling   services.

Seeking assistance   related to addressing a drug and alcohol problem will not, by itself, result   in disciplinary action, nor will it affect the employment/study status of the   person involved.

The rights of   staff and students to privacy and confidentiality are respected, but this   must be balanced with the University’s duty to maintain a safe and healthy   workplace for all staff, students, contractors and visitors.  If there is a situation where alcohol   or drug misuse may contribute to potentially significant safety, legal or   performance events, the University will act responsibly to protect its staff,   students, contractors, visitors and the community in which it operates.

Disciplinary Action
Staff who breach   this Policy will be subject to normal disciplinary proceedings as outlined in   the Macquarie University Enterprise Agreements.

Students who   breach this Policy will be subject to the provisions outlined in the Student   Misconduct and Discipline Rule.

Use of Illegal Drugs in   Research

The University may undertake research using Illegal   Drugs and alcohol. This Policy does not impact on the use of these drugs and   alcohol for lawful research, analysis or instruction purposes that have all   relevant authorities and approvals, including approval by relevant government   authorities (if required) and University ethics committees (if required).

The storage and use of Illegal Drugs for the purpose of research,   analysis or instruction will be regulated in a manner consistent with all   laws.

The University requires that two appropriately authorised individuals are   to be present at the time of dispensing and disposing of Illegal Drugs for   research, analysis or instruction purposes.

Staff and students who are authorised to work with Illegal Drugs must   do so in accordance with the relevant Procedure and Schedule.

The University may commence applicable disciplinary procedures if a person to whom this Policy applies breaches this Policy (or any of its related procedures).  A breach may also result in referral to the police.

Policy Information

Contact Officer

Vice-President, Human Resources

Date Approved24 September 2013
Approval AuthorityVice-President, Human Resources and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Date of Commencement24 September 2013
Amendment History
28 June 2019 - Amendment to position title: ‘Director, Human Resources’ updated to ‘Vice-President, Human Resources’ with effect from 6 June 2019.
9 October 2018 – Minor amendment to position title for Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) – removing ‘and Registrar’ from title under Approval Authority.
8 November 2017 – Updated Approval Authority from Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students and Registrar) to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Registrar
February 2017 – removed Related documents reference to Student Misconduct and Discipline Rules, replaced with Student Discipline Rules, Procedure and Appendices.
Date for Next ReviewSeptember 2016
Related Documents

Supporting documents on this page (see Tabs above):
Alcohol and Drug Schedule

Other related documents:
Storage and Use of Drugs Used in Research Procedure
Facilities Usage Policy
Macquarie University Enterprise Agreements
Staff Code of Conduct
Student Code of Conduct
Student Discipline Rule
Student Discipline Procedure
Student Discipline Procedure Appendix 1: Handling and resolving allegations of Academic misconduct (process map with links to supporting resources)
Student Discipline Procedure Appendix 2: Handling and resolving allegations of General misconduct (process map with links to supporting resources)

Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cwth)
Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW)
Liquor Act 2007 (NSW)
Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 (NSW)

Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW)
Policies / Rules Superseded    by this PolicyMajor Event – Alcohol Policy approved 12 November 2012
KeywordsAlcohol, drugs, drunk, impairment, intoxicated, major event, paraphernalia




To provide observation   descriptors for assessing whether a person may be intoxicated as defined in   the Alcohol and Drug Policy.


The following   observations may indicate that a person is Intoxicated. This list is not   exhaustive and the signs may not be necessarily be conclusive of intoxication.

SmellSmell of intoxicating liquor; cannabis.
SpeechSlurred words, incoherent speech, rambling conversation, loss of train of thought, difficulty in paying attention, difficulty in comprehending a conversation or instruction.
BalanceStumbling, falling into people or furniture, difficulty walking and/or standing, unsteady on feet, swaying uncontrollably, staggering.
CoordinationLack of coordination, spilling drinks and/or food, fumbling with change etc, difficulty opening doors or using mobile phones, glassy eyes and lack of focus, difficulty in putting glass or food to their mouth.
BehaviourDisorderly, aggressive, rude, offensive, annoying, loud, confused, overly exuberant, bad-tempered, threatening, drowsy /sleepy, threatening and/or physically violent or intimidating.
Presence of drug paraphernalia (such as syringes, swabs, tourniquets and/or devices for smoking drugs).
Admission of     consumption of alcohol or drug-takingAdmission by the person that they have consumed alcohol and/or drugs.

Schedule Information

Contact OfficerManager, Health & Safety
Date Approved24 September 2013
Approval AuthorityVice-President, Human Resources and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Date of Commencement24 September 2013
Amendment History
28 June 2019 - Amendment to position title: ‘Director, Human Resources’ updated to ‘Vice-President, Human Resources’ with effect from 6 June 2019.
9 October 2018 – Minor amendment to position title for Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) – removing ‘and Registrar’ from title under Approval Authority.
8 November 2017 – Updated Approval Authority from Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students and Registrar) to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Registrar
Date for Next ReviewSeptember 2016
KeywordsAlcohol, drunk, drugs, impairment, intoxicated, paraphernalia
Policy AuthorisationSupporting documents on this page (see Tabs above):
Alcohol and Drug Policy
Back to the top of this page