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Interviewer: Okay. You talked about the minor having alcohol on school property. Is that a separate offense? What’s involved with that?
Dale: It’s a separate offense as far as the school is concerned. The school will in fact, initiate an expulsion proceeding. First the child will be suspended, and then there will be an expulsion hearing and they could be expelled for up to 80 school days. That doesn’t include weekends and holidays. And that’s followed by the juvenile court charge.
Interviewer: Is this for both high school and college, or just high school?
Dale: Sure. Most of the schools have adapted zero tolerance policies. Absolutely no drugs or alcohol on the premises. There’s no warning, there’s no three strikes your out, it’s the first time, it’s a zero tolerance policy. They go for the gusto, they want to expel you for 80 days, 80 school days. That’s a long time, yes. You’ll lose a year. You can very well lose the academic year.
Interviewer: That’s consumption. What about possession of alcohol?
Dale: The same would apply. However, College is a little bit different. Colleges have their own policies, often colleges the penalties aren’t nearly severe as they are in high school.There are plenty of underage consumption charges that go on. They usually let the campus police handle them and they go to the municipal court.
Interviewer: Well for high school though, possession of alcohol is still, what is that offense called and what’s the punishment for it?
Dale: Just basically the schools have policies that say, “No one shall possess or consume any alcohol on school premises, period.”
Interviewer: So even if you just possess it and it’s unopened, they’ll still charge you and try to expel you?