Standards of conduct

HCC policy prohibits the unlawful possession, use, distribution, or manufacture of illicit drugs and/or alcohol on the campus and at District sponsored events. The unlawful use of drugs or alcohol is inconsistent with the behavior expected of members of the HCC community. Violations of this policy may result in criminal action as well as disciplinary action.

This policy is in place to protect and support the employees and students of HCC.

Standards

Students:

HCC is dedicated to providing a quality comprehensive educational program designed to meet and balance the diverse and changing educational, social, economic, and cultural needs of the community while providing a safe and healthful environment. HCC is committed not only to learning and to the advancement of knowledge but also to the education of ethically sensitive and responsible persons. HCC seeks to achieve these goals through a sound educational program and through rules and regulations governing student life that encourage responsibility and respect for the rights and viewpoints of others.


Therefore, the use, sale, distribution, possession of alcohol, or any drug, including prescription medication used in an unauthorized manner is strictly prohibited and may result in disciplinary action up to, and including, expulsion.


HCC believes that students are adults who are responsible for their own actions, and who should be free to pursue their educational objectives in an environment that promotes learning, protects the integrity of the academic process, and protects the learning community.


HCC’s rules and regulations concerning student conduct may be found within the Student Handbook available online. These rules and regulations are in effect when attending or participating in any class or activity sponsored by HCC or one of its colleges, either on campus or at an off-campus event.

Employees:

While at work, each System employee has a responsibility to deliver service in a safe, efficient, and conscientious manner. Therefore, the use, sale, distribution, possession of alcohol, or any drug, including prescription medication used in an unauthorized manner is strictly prohibited and may result in disciplinary action up to, and including, termination.


An employee who is believed to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs while at work may face punitive actions.


As a condition of employment, an employee shall notify his or her supervisor of any conviction for an alcohol or drug related offense immediately after such arrest/conviction. Failure to give this notification may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.


Each employee has access to HCC employee rules and regulations governing employee conduct in the HCC General New Employee Orientation Booklet, (GNEO). These rules and regulations are in effect when on campus in any capacity and participating in any HCC (or College) sponsored activity, either on campus or at an off-campus event.


For further guidance, employees are instructed to see the HCC/HR policies as outlined on the HCC website.

Off campus:

HCC may take disciplinary action against those students and employees whose behavior off- campus, or in matters unrelated to HCC or one of its Colleges’ activities or business, indicates that they pose a serious and substantial danger to themselves or others.

Legal Sanctions:

Legal Sanctions Regarding the Unlawful Use, Possession, or Distribution of Alcoholic Beverages and Illicit Drugs

Local Sanctions:

  • In the City of Houston, it is unlawful for any person to be in possession of an open container in the central business district. Additionally, it is unlawful for any person to engage in the public consumption of any alcoholic beverage in the central business district. (City of Houston, Code of Ordinances 3.3)
  • Punishable, upon conviction, by neither a fine of not less than $100.00 nor more than $2,000.00.

State Sanctions:

  • A person commits an offense if the person appears in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger the person or another. (Texas Penal Code 49.02)
  • A person commits an offense if the person knowingly possesses an open container in a passenger area of a motor vehicle that is located on a public highway, regardless of whether the vehicle is being operated or is stopped or parked. Possession by a person of one or more open containers in a single criminal episode is a single offense. (Texas Penal Code 49.031)
  • A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. (Texas Penal code 49.04)
  • Note that a person may also be convicted of offenses if intoxicated while operating a plane, driving with a minor in the vehicle, or boating. (Texas Penal code 49.045-.06)
  • Punishable with a minimum term of confinement of 30 days.
  • A person commits an offense if the person, by accident or mistake while operating an aircraft, watercraft, or amusement ride while intoxicated, or while operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated, by reason of that intoxication causes serious bodily injury to another. (Texas Penal Code 49.07)
  • A person commits an offense if the person: (1) operates a motor vehicle in a public place, operates an aircraft, a watercraft, or an amusement ride, or assembles a mobile amusement ride; and (2) is intoxicated and by reason of that intoxication causes the death of another by accident or mistake. (Texas Penal Code 49.08)
  • A minor commits an offense if the minor purchases or attempts to purchase an alcoholic beverage. (Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code 106.02-.025)
  • The offense is punishable by a fine of not less than $250; confinement in
  • jail for a term not to exceed 180 days; or both the fine and confinement. The court may also mandate community service and suspend the driver’s license of the convicted individual. Additionally, the court may mandate attendance at an alcohol awareness course.
  • A minor commits an offense if he consumes an alcoholic beverage. (Texas
  • Alcoholic Beverage Code 106.04)
  • The offense is punishable by a fine of not less than $250; confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days; or both the fine and confinement. The court may also mandate community service and suspend the driver’s license of the convicted individual. Additionally, the court may mandate attendance at an alcohol awareness course.
  • A minor commits an offense if the minor operates a motor vehicle in a public place, or a watercraft, while having any detectable amount of alcohol in the minor's system. (Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code 106.041)
  • The offense is punishable by a fine of not less than $500 or more than
  • $2,000; confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days; or both the fine and confinement. In addition, the court shall order community service to be performed.
  • A minor commits an offense if he possesses an alcoholic beverage. (Texas
  • Alcoholic Beverage Code 106.05)
  • The offense is punishable by a fine of not less than $250; confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days; or both the fine and confinement. The court may also mandate community service and suspend the driver’s license of the convicted individual. Additionally, the court may mandate attendance at an alcohol awareness course.
  • A person commits an offense if he purchases an alcoholic beverage for or gives or makes available an alcoholic beverage to a minor with criminal negligence.
  • (Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code 106.06)
  • The offense is punishable by a fine of not less than $250; confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days; or both the fine and confinement. The court may also mandate community service and suspend the driver’s license of the convicted individual. Additionally, the court may mandate attendance at an alcohol awareness course.
  • A minor commits an offense if he falsely states that he is 21 years of age or older or presents any document that indicates he is 21 years of age or older to a person engaged in selling or serving alcoholic beverages. (Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code 106.07)
  • The offense is punishable by a fine of not less than $250; confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days; or both the fine and confinement. The court may also mandate community service and suspend the driver’s license of the convicted individual. Additionally, the court may mandate attendance at an alcohol awareness course.
  • The manufacture, delivery, or possession of a controlled substance (as defined by the Texas Controlled Substances Act) in the State of Texas is a crime and punishable by a fine up to $250,000 and/or prison term of life or not more than 99 years. (Tex. Health & Safety Code 481.112-.119)
  • A person commits an offense if the person knowingly or intentionally delivers marijuana.
  • Such offense is punishable by a fine up to $100,000 and/or prison term of life or not more than 99 years. (Tex. Health & Safety Code 481.120)
  • A person commits an offense if the person knowingly or intentionally possesses a usable quantity of marijuana.
  • This offense is punishable by imprisonment for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than 5 years, and a fine not to exceed $50,000. (Tex. Health & Safety Code 481.121)
  • A person commits an offense if the person knowingly delivers a controlled substance listed in Penalty Group 1, 1-A, 2, or 3 (of the Texas Controlled Substances Act) or knowingly delivers marijuana and the person delivers the controlled substance or marijuana to a person who is a child or who is enrolled in a public or private primary or secondary school.
  • This offense is punishable as a felony in the second degree. (Tex. Health & Safety Code 481.122)
  • Drug related offenses have increased penalties if the offense occurs in a “drug free zone.” Drug free zones include institutions of higher education, youth centers, schools (and other facilities) and the areas surrounding such locations.
  • Penalties include fines that may be doubled and minimum jail terms that may be raised. (Tex. Health & Safety Code 481.134)

Federal Sanctions:

  • 21 U. S. C. 841 makes it a crime (a) to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a controlled substance; or (b) to create, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to distribute or dispense, a counterfeit substance.
  • The Controlled Substances Act places all substances which are in some manner regulated into one of five schedules. The CSA provides penalties for unlawful manufacturing, distribution, and dispensing of controlled substances.
  • The U. S. Code establishes and authorizes the U. S. Attorney General to revise as needed, classifications of controlled substances. Schedule I is comprised essentially of “street drugs” and Schedule V is comprised of drugs with a “low potential for abuse” when compared with drugs in schedules I-IV. Examples of Schedule I drugs are heroin and marijuana. PCP, for example, is a Schedule II drug. Amphetamine is a Schedule III drug, while Barbital is a Schedule IV drug. An example of a Schedule V drug would be a prescription medication with not more than 200 mg. of codeine per 100 grams.
  • The penalties are determined by the schedule of the drug or other substance, and sometimes are specified by drug name, as in the case of marijuana.
  • Penalties for first offenses include a fine up to $10 million and/or a prison term up to life, but no less than 1 year.

*Penalties for subsequent violations of the above-described provisions are progressively more severe than the initial convictions. Penalties, laws, and statutes may change without notice. This list is not intended to be comprehensive. For a complete list of drug and alcohol related offenses, please contact the appropriate law enforcement agency.