Alcohol Policy for Schools and Departments

The health and well being of every CalArts faculty and staff member is the primary focus of the following policy. The Institute recognizes that responsible alcohol use can be compatible with healthy adult behavior and successful social events. However, CalArts complies with and enforces all state and federal laws governing alcohol consumption and distribution.

I. Party and Social Events Regulation

The Institute allows schools and departments to host parties and social events that serve alcohol. This is referred to as an “approved reception.” ALCOHOL MAY BE SERVED ONLY AT APPROVED RECEPTIONS. RECEPTIONS MUST BE SCHEDULED THROUGH THE INSTITUTE SCHEDULERS IN THE SERVICE CENTER/MAILROOM AT LEAST 7 DAYS PRIOR TO THE EVENT. If the reception is catered, the alcohol may be served by a licensed caterer. For other receptions, the Office of Student Experience will arrange for securing the services of trained bartenders who will place alcoholic beverages in secure and controllable areas and refuse service to anyone who is under 21 or appears to be intoxicated. The Institute reserves the right to revoke or alter the specific spaces in which approved receptions can be held and the frequency with which approval may occur.

  • Beer and wine are the ONLY alcoholic beverages that may be served or consumed at approved receptions. THIS MEANS NO HARD ALCOHOL. Sufficient non-alcoholic beverages must be made available in addition to alcoholic beverages. 
  • Beer includes all fermented beverages with an alcohol content of less than 6%. Wine includes champagne and other sparkling wines with an alcohol content of up to 14%. 
  • Alcoholic beverages may not be sold at any campus event without an appropriate State license. 
  • Individuals are prohibited from bringing their own alcoholic beverages to any approved reception or from taking alcoholic beverages out of events or social functions. 
  • Only a reasonable amount of alcohol should be served, considering the number of guests and the length of the event. 
  • Parties and events must generally take place between 5:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. No alcohol can be served after 2:00 a.m. 
  • The faculty or staff person that registers the reception shall be considered the event host. Hosts must: 1) supply, and in conjunction with the assigned bartender, secure and set up alcohol, cups, openers, etc.; 2) ensure that no person under 21 years of age or who is obviously intoxicated is served; 3) ensure that the event does not violate Institute noise policy; 4) ensure that the event is not excessively crowded; 5) be present and sufficiently sober to carry out all hosting obligations for the duration of the event. Hosts who fail to fulfill any of these obligations will no longer be permitted to register an event and may be subject to Institute sanctions.

II. State and Federal Laws

  • California has a strict host liability law. If a person sells or serves alcohol, he or she can be held responsible in a court of law for the conduct of any individual who is served if that person subsequently injures himself or herself, becomes ill, dies, or injures a third party. This is especially true when the person served is a minor or is already intoxicated.
  • It is illegal to sell, furnish or give alcoholic beverages to anyone under 21 or to anyone who is obviously intoxicated.
  • It is illegal to sell alcohol without a valid license or permit. 
  • It is illegal to drink while driving. 
  • It is illegal to have an open container of alcohol in a moving vehicle. 
  • It is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol. In California anyone driving with a .08 or greater blood-alcohol content is considered "driving under the influence" and subject to loss of their driver's license and other penalties. These penalties can include incarceration. 
  • It is illegal to ride a bicycle or to operate a water vessel, water ski or aquaplane while intoxicated. 
  • The federal government, through the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, requires that colleges enforce state and local laws concerning alcohol and drugs in order to remain eligible for federal funds including federal student financial aid. 
  • Employees of CalArts should be familiar with the Institute’s Alcohol and Drug Policy, and are expected to report violations to Security.
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