Alcohol Policy

All University-related events where alcohol is served, whether on or off campus, require completion of an alcohol use application form.  This form is designed to help protect the University from liability claims related to the service of alcohol.

The completed alcohol use application form must be submitted to UM Catering seven (7) days prior to the event, with a copy held on file with the person requesting the alcohol service.  Please note that all alcohol use application forms are routed via DocuSign through various offices and will often take at least two weeks to be completed. This means you must begin the process at least three weeks prior to the date of your event. If you have never filled out an alcohol use application form before, please take a few minutes to review the First Time Users Guide and Frequently Asked Questions.

Here are some common mistakes which may slow down or prevent the process from being completed.

  1. The person starting and filling out the form is required to electronically sign the form via DocuSign. If this person is also designated as the “Responsible Person” for the event, the DocuSign program will require them to sign again in a second email.
  2. Notify your dean or director that they are listed on the alcohol use application Form. Otherwise they may ignore the automatically generated e-mail from “Byron Drake” who they likely do not know.
  3. It typically takes at least two weeks for the forms to circulate and be signed by all of the required parties. If your event is less than two weeks away, you should call your “responsible party” and dean or director and ask them to sign the form as soon as they receive the email. Even a small delay may prevent your form from circulating in time. Our third-party vendor and UM Catering cannot provide alcohol at your event without a completed form.
  4. You may email Byron Drake at byron.drake@mso.umt.edu to check on the progress of a form if you have not received notice that it is completed. Please provide him with the name of the person who filled out the form, the date of the event, and sponsoring department name.

Events where alcohol is served are subject to all policies of the University of Montana and laws of the State of Montana. 

Please review Policy Number 1000.

During the event, the event sponsors (i.e., the “Responsible Person” listed on the alcohol use application form) must monitor service of alcohol to prevent:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption by the guests.
  • Service to a person under the age of 21.
  • Service or sale of alcohol to a person who is intoxicated or disorderly.
  • The use of non-TIPS trained servers.
  • Servers from consuming alcohol during the event.
  • Alcohol sale or service beyond four (4) hours, unless otherwise approved.
  • The service of alcohol without substantive food being served at events held on the University campus. 

The following are ways in which alcohol may be served:

Departmental Hosted Bar
A departmental hosted bar refers to alcohol service where a University of Montana campus entity with a UM Foundation account hosts an event at no cost to guests. The department then pays for the alcohol from a UM Foundation account. In this type of alcohol service, UM Catering handles all of the arrangements up to and including providing TIPS-trained alcohol service staff.  Please have your UM Foundation account number ready when placing your order.


Non-Departmental Hosted Bar
A non-departmental hosted bar refers to alcohol service where funds other than UM Foundation accounts are used to pay for the alcohol served. The University of Montana contracts with a local liquor vendor to provide exclusive alcohol service to campus whenever this type of alcohol service is requested. Sale of a ticket to an event where complimentary alcohol is served is considered a sale of alcohol.  Please indicate your method of payment when placing your order.
 
Cash Bar
A cash bar is set up when guests pay for their alcoholic beverages. The University of Montana contracts with a local liquor vendor to provide exclusive alcohol service to campus whenever a cash bar is requested. Sale of a ticket to an event where complimentary alcohol is served is considered a sale of alcohol. All cash bars must go through the University's contracted liquor vendor. 
 
UM Catering is required by policy to have the event sponsor’s completed alcohol use application form on file prior to all events where alcohol is served.