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Handbook of Operating Procedures

Alcoholic Beverages

Policy Number: 9


Use, possession, or distribution of alcoholic beverages on university premises or at events sponsored by the university or The University of Texas System


All Employees

Date Reviewed:
March 2008
Responsible Office:
Finance and Business Services
Responsible Executive:
Senior Vice President, Finance and Business Services


The use, possession or distribution of alcohol by individuals on the premises of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston ("university") or at events sponsored by the university or The University of Texas System ("UT System") is prohibited, unless approved in advance by the Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Operating and Financial Officer ("COO/CFO") or designee. Any member of the university community who violates this prohibition may be subject to disciplinary action by the university.

An event is considered to be sponsored by the university if a budgeted office, department or division of the university is responsible for organizing the event, inviting attendees, and paying expenses related to the event, including the purchase of food and beverages. An event is considered to be sponsored even if an outside entity pays for the food and beverages at the event. Meetings or events organized and presented by registered employee or student organizations are not events sponsored by UT System or the university.  Refer to HOOP Policy 110 Employee or Student Organizations.

University representatives sponsoring such events, must comply with relevant university policies and take appropriate measures to protect the welfare of the university, its staff, students and guests. The impairing use of alcohol at an authorized, official university function, in the course of official university business, or at an authorized university site in a manner that may adversely affect job performance or the safety of any other person is prohibited. Refer to HOOP Policy 173 Substance Abuse in the Workplace.

The primary objective of the university is to protect the health, safety and well-being of its community members and their guests. Individuals and departments should give due consideration to sponsoring events where no alcohol is served. They should also consider offering alcohol only on a cash basis where the individual alcohol consumer pays for his or her drinks and obtains them from a concessionaire. If university representatives choose to sponsor an event where alcohol is served, the following procedures must be strictly observed. Possession, use or sale of alcoholic beverages to anyone under legal drinking age is strictly prohibited.  


Prior to an event at which alcoholic beverages are to be served, a Request for Permission to Serve Alcoholic Beverages form must be submitted through the appropriate dean or vice president by the sponsor who will be responsible for the event to the COO/CFO or designee. The request form must be completed for any university sponsored event in which alcoholic beverages will be served regardless of the location of the event, with the exception of small business meals. The request form must be submitted two business days prior to the event.

In requesting the sanction of the university for any event at which alcoholic beverages will be served (whether on or off university premises), the responsible party of the event must devise means to assure that:

  • alcoholic beverages are not served to underage persons, in accordance with applicable state law;
  • efforts are made to regulate the serving of alcohol;
  • alcoholic beverages are not served to intoxicated persons;
  • non-alcoholic beverages are provided at all events and food is provided where possible;
  • alcoholic beverages are not served at any university sponsored or -affiliated event for more than three hours in the course of any event, nor later than 10 p.m.; and,
  • alcoholic beverages are not served at any university sponsored or -affiliated event during the usual working hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Exceptions to any of the provisions listed above must be approved in advance by the COO/CFO or designee.

On receipt of the request form, the COO/CFO or designee will return the form with his or her approval or disapproval and signature to the responsible sponsor listed on the form. The approved form must be submitted with request for payment.

Expenses incurred for alcoholic beverages may be reimbursed only from designated funds appropriate for such expenditures. Private (or gift) funds may be used only if specifically permitted by the terms of administration of the account.


    • Finance and Business Affairs
    • 713-500-3158
    • Expense Reimbursement Team
    • 713-500-4958