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Consequences of Being Caught Drinking on Campus

By April 4, 2022September 25th, 2023No Comments

Encountering alcohol is, for better or worse, a very common experience for students at colleges and universities in DC and throughout the U.S. Whether you choose to drink or not, it’s important to know about the potential dangers you could encounter.

At DC Student Defense, we often represent students facing academic or legal consequences for drinking on campus. If you’re underage, you could be facing legal consequences, or you could just be in trouble with your school for violating campus policies.

From experienced student defense attorney Shan Wu, read on for a rundown of the consequences of getting caught drinking on campus.

The Most Common College Alcohol Violations in DC

Every college or university has different policies about drinking on campus, and those policies can differ based on your age. To fully understand your school’s policies, thoroughly read your school’s code of conduct.

That being said, most colleges prohibit the consumption of alcohol while on campus property, regardless of your age. This includes the privacy of your dorm room.

Here are some of the most common alcohol violations you can get in trouble for on campus:

  • Drinking or being intoxicated on campus
  • Possessing or drinking alcohol in your dorm room
  • Underage drinking
  • Supplying alcohol to minors
  • Public intoxication
  • Having an open container in public

Consequences of College Alcohol Violations

So, you and your friends are having some drinks in your dorm room, and your RA comes in for a surprise inspection. What happens now?

Again, you should check your school’s code of conduct for specific details. In general, these are some of the consequences you could face from your school’s administration:

  • Verbal or written reprimand
  • Academic, disciplinary, or athletic probation
  • Loss of privileges (sports, clubs, etc.)
  • Suspension
  • Loss of scholarships
  • Expulsion

In addition, many schools in the DC area have policies of reaching out to local police departments when a crime is committed on campus. So if you’re caught drinking while underage, driving under the influence, drinking in public, or doing anything else against the law, you may also face a criminal investigation as well.

What To Do in the Case of an Alcohol-related Emergency

However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t contact emergency medical services if you are facing an alcohol-related emergency.

Here are some examples:

  • You or someone you know is experiencing alcohol poisoning
  • Someone you know has been drinking and won’t wake up
  • You or someone you know has injured themselves due to intoxication
  • You or someone you know is being assaulted, and alcohol is involved

Many schools have student-run medical services, or private university-run security services, that can help in these situations.

In addition, some schools have medical amnesty policies, which mean that if you report an alcohol-related emergency, you and the other people involved won’t get in trouble for campus drinking violations.

Contact DC Student Defense today

Once you and everyone else involved in the situation are safe, the most important thing you can do is contact a student defense attorney. A DC-based attorney with experience in these matters like Shan Wu will be able to not only defend your legal rights, but also make sure that your academic future is protected. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and talk about your case.

Shan Wu

Author Shan Wu

Shan’s professional and personal background gives him a unique understanding of academic institutions and the criminal justice system. A former federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., he is at home in D.C. Courts and very familiar with all of the Washington, D.C. law enforcement agencies, especially the Metropolitan Police Department. His parents were university professors so he grew up in a university environment. He understands the mindset of academic institutions. As a prosecutor, he supervised in the misdemeanor crime section. This is the section of the Washington, D.C. prosecutor’s office that handles most college student cases. His understanding of charging decisions and how judges view these cases is invaluable to his student clients and their families. Shan served as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia for over ten years. During his tenure there, now Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. appointed him to supervisory positions in the Misdemeanor Trial Section and also in a police corruption task force. His outstanding legal work in the government was recognized through numerous Special Achievement Awards from the Justice Department as well as awards conveyed by law enforcement agencies and community groups. From 1999-2000, Shan served as Counsel to Attorney General Janet Reno, advising her on criminal and civil investigations, E-Gov, E-Commerce (electronic signatures, internet gambling, internet telephony, privacy & public access issues in electronic court filings), congressional oversight, and legislative review. His responsibilities included serving as liaison to the FBI, DEA, Criminal Division, Executive Office of United States Attorneys, National Institute of Justice, and White House Counsel’s Office. Shan serves on the D.C. Bar Association’s Hearing Committee of the Board on Professional Responsibility and is a past president of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association for the Greater Washington, D.C. area. He is a 1988 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, where he graduated Order of the Barristers, edited two law reviews, and was Co-Director of the Moot Court Program. He holds a B.A. in English Literature from Vassar College as well as a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Following law school, he clerked for the late Hon. Jerry Buchmeyer, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, and the late Eugene Wright, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and Connecticut.

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