skip to main content

Policy 7040 - Alcohol and Noncontrolled Substance Abuse by Employees

The purpose of this policy is to establish standards and procedures for employees and service providers regarding the possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and/or the abuse of noncontrolled substances.

Policy Document

I. Policy Statement

The Board of Education is committed to ensuring a safe and nurturing environment for its employees. The Board values a work environment free of any use, possession, or distribution of alcohol or abuse of noncontrolled substances, recognizing that such conduct compromises the well being of students and staff and impairs performance.

All employees are to be respectful of this work environment and are expected to abstain from the use, possession, or distribution of alcohol or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages and/or the abuse of noncontrolled substances while engaged in Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) duties.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish standards and procedures for employees and service providers regarding the possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and/or the abuse of noncontrolled substances.

III. Definitions

Within the context of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  1. Abuse – The ingestion, inhalation, injection, or absorption of alcohol or a noncontrolled substance in a manner or degree at any time that compromises workplace safety, job performance, and/or the work environment.

  2. Alcohol – Ale, beer, wine, whiskey, rum, gin, or any other spirituous, vinous, malt, or fermented liquor or compound by whatever name called. This includes any product that contains the aforementioned liquors or compounds.

  3. Constructive Possession – Having knowledge of the presence of alcohol and the ability to control/use it, without having actual possession. More than one person may have constructive possession at the same time.

  4. Controlled Substance – Those drugs/medications, including prescription drugs/medications and over-the-counter drugs/medications, as listed in Sections 5-101 and Sections 5-503 through 5-406 of the Criminal Law Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland. Controlled substances also include any substance represented as a controlled drug/medication.

  5. Distribution – The sale, transfer, trade, giving, or exchange in any manner of alcohol, a noncontrolled substance, or a noncontrolled substance that is represented as a controlled dangerous substance.

  6. Intent to Distribute – Possession of alcohol, in or on any item or belonging under the control of the employee or owned by the employee, in such quantity and under such circumstances, observed or discovered, indicating the strong likelihood of distribution.

  7. Noncontrolled Substances – Any drug/medication not classified as a controlled substance by law, regulation, or medical statute including, but not limited to, over-the-counter drugs/medications and select prescription drugs/medications. Examples include pseudoephedrine and amoxicillin.

  8. Over-The-Counter Drugs/Medications – Over-the-counter medicines, homeopathic and herbal products, and dietary supplements.

  9. Possession – The presence of alcohol on an employee, however small the amount, or in or on any item under the control of the employee or owned by the employee.

  10. Prescription Drugs/Medications – Substances that under federal law may not be dispensed without a prescription written by a person licensed by the state to do so.

  11. Service Provider – An individual who provides services to the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) through contract or volunteer service, including student teachers and interns.

  12. Use – The ingestion of alcohol; a condition or state of being of an employee indicating that the employee is under the influence of alcohol.

IV. Standards

  1. Compliance with this policy is a condition of employment, and violations of this policy will constitute grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

  2. An employee or service provider may not possess, use, or be under the influence of alcohol on school system property, at an HCPSS-sponsored event, or while engaged in HCPSS duties.

  3. An employee or service provider may not abuse noncontrolled substances on school system property, at an HCPSS-sponsored event, or while engaged in HCPSS duties.

  4. The HCPSS will not hire anyone who is known to currently abuse alcohol or a noncontrolled substance.

  5. An employee or service provider may not possess, distribute, or intend to distribute alcohol on school system property, at an HCPSS-sponsored event, or while engaged in HCPSS duties.

  6. An employee or service provider may not be in constructive possession of alcohol on school system property at an HCPSS-sponsored event, or while engaged in HCPSS duties.

  7. An employee or service provider may not distribute noncontrolled substances to students except when specified by job description and parent/guardian consent, as provided in Policy 9230 - Alcohol, Other Drugs, Prescription Medication and Over-the-Counter Products, and as outlined in the Health Services Requirements and Procedures, Medication Administration Procedure.

  8. An employee or service provider may not engage in conduct that would constitute a violation of federal or state law concerning the use, distribution, or intended distribution of alcohol.

  9. Any employee who operates an HCPSS vehicle is required to report any alcohol or noncontrolled substance-related charges to their immediate supervisor prior to the start of their next work day following the charges.

  10. Any employee who operates an HCPSS vehicle who is convicted of alcohol or noncontrolled substance-related offenses will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

  11. Employees or service providers must report within three (3) workdays to their supervisor or principal any violation or suspected violation of this policy. Failure to report policy violations or suspected policy violations may result in disciplinary action.

  12. Every supervisor and/or principal must report immediately any violations or alleged violations of this policy to the Superintendent/Designee for investigation.

  13. Any employee who aids, abets, and/or conspires with any person to violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary action.

  14. Any employee who knowingly gives false information, fails to cooperate, or in any way impedes any investigation conducted by the Superintendent/Designee may be subject to disciplinary action.

  15. An employee may be required to participate in a treatment program designed to address alcohol or noncontrolled substance abuse and related problems.

V. Compliance

  1. The Office of Human Resources will ensure that all newly hired employees receive a copy of this policy.

  2. The Superintendent/Designee will ensure that all service providers receive a copy of this policy.

  3. All employees are responsible for reporting any suspected violations of this policy or implementation procedures to their immediate supervisor.

  4. Supervisors and principals are responsible for reporting alleged violations to the Superintendent/Designee.

  5. The Superintendent/Designee will investigate and make decisions regarding any alleged violations of this policy.

VI. Delegation of Authority

The Superintendent is authorized to develop appropriate procedures to implement this policy.

VII. Reference

  • Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812

  • The Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 12114

  • The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, 41 U.S.C. Sections 702-707

  • 34 C.F.R. 84.100-115

  • 34 C.F.R. 84.200-230

  • 34 C.F.R. 84.605-670

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Criminal Law Article, Section 5-101 (f)

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Criminal Law Article, Section 5-101 (l)

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Criminal Law Article, Section 5-101 (o)

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Criminal Law Article, Section 5-101 (s)

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Criminal Law Article, Section 5-101 (u)

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Criminal Law Article, Section 5-101 (v)

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Criminal Law Article, Section 5-101 (y-z)

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Criminal Law Article, Section 5-101 (aa-cc)

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Criminal Law Article, Sections 5-402 through 5-406

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Criminal Law Article, Section 10-111

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article, Section 4-205

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article, Section 6-202

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article, Section 26-103

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Health General Article, Section 17-214

  • COMAR 10.10.10.01-.10

  • COMAR 13A.12.05.02

  • COMAR 13A.12.05.03

C. Other

  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) brochure

  • Health Services Requirements and Procedures, Medication Administration Procedure

VIII. History

ADOPTED: September 13, 1990

AMENDED: April 15, 2010

EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2010