Policy on the Use of Alcohol on Division-Sanctioned Field Trips
Caltech's substance abuse policy provides that it is the policy of the Institute to maintain a work and academic environment free from drug and alcohol abuse. This policy also prohibits the unlawful use of controlled substances and alcohol as any part of the Institute's activities, either on or off campus.
This policy applies to members of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences who participate in field trips away from campus for educational purposes. Consistent with this policy, the consumption of alcoholic beverages (including beer and wine) by anyone under the age of 21 is prohibited on field trips. Further, field trip participants shall not consume alcohol while working in the field, or at any time when operating or riding in a motorized vehicles. During off hours (after the normal intellectual endeavors of the day are complete, either while back in field camp or in hotels, motels, restaurants, or while on public transportation or airplane flights), members are expected to act lawfully and responsibly with respect to the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages. All local laws are to be followed, and the same expectations of behavior and conduct are to be adhered to as would apply to members of the Institute while at a conference or other meeting at an off-campus site.
The division requires that:
- No one under the drinking age of 21 consumes alcohol at any time during a division-sponsored field event.
- No designated drivers may use alcohol within an eight hour period of driving for a trip. According to the State of California Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Code:
- It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is 0.08% or more.
- Drivers under the age of 21 years, if found to have a BAC of 0.01% or more, will be subject to a driver license sanction.
- A BAC below legal limits does NOT mean that it is safe to drive. Two drinks in an hour can make anyone an unsafe driver. (Information from the California Driver Handbook).
- It is unlawful for any person who has a 0.04 percent or more BAC to drive a commercial motor vehicle, which includes buses.
- The policy of the division and the Institute policy will prevail over the laws of the location (for example, no drinking under 21 in Mexico).
The division requires that its members exercise common sense and be guided by the Caltech Honor Code in applying this policy.