Skip to main content

What are the most common student conduct code violations or crimes involving alcohol?

Underage drinking is the most common violation for college students as 21 is the federal drinking age. Other common alcohol related charges college students may face include misrepresentation of age, being visibly drunk on campus, and providing alcohol to a minor. In Washington D.C., it is illegal to be intoxicated in public, to drink an alcoholic beverage in public, or possess an open container, and thus these statutes also carry over to university codes of conduct.

On college and university campuses, a student can face more violations for bringing alcohol into alcohol-free zones such as freshman dorms (regardless of whether you are of the legal drinking age) or you have alcohol paraphernalia in your dorm room, such as a beer pong table. Common source containers, such as kegs or boxed wine, may be banned or restricted on campus as well. Make sure you read and understand your school’s alcohol policy regarding age and location before bringing alcohol on campus; violations of these outlines can lead to a student code of conduct disciplinary hearing.

What is the definition of being drunk in public or public intoxication?

Being drunk in public, or public intoxication charges, is an allegation that a person is visibly drunk or under the influence of alcohol. The intoxicated student usually causes some form of disturbance for the allegation to be brought about.

What is the definition of a minor in possession (MIP)?

A minor in possession refers to anyone under the legal drinking age of 21 who merely possesses alcohol. If there is sufficient evidence, the minor in possession charge may be used to prosecute someone who has been drinking underage

What are the criminal or legal consequences of alcohol related crimes?

Alcohol related violations are misdemeanors and punishable by fines and jail time of less than a year. While underage drinking is a civil rather than criminal offense, violations should be taken just as seriously. Punishments may include community service, alcohol education classes, and suspension of your driver’s license for 90 days.

How do colleges and universities handle alcohol violations? What are common sanctions for violating your university’s alcohol policy?

Colleges and universities take alcohol-related violations very seriously. On-campus violations include underage possession or use of alcohol, possession of alcohol in a dry dormitory, and intoxication on a college/university premises. In Washington D.C., the Metropolitan Police Department communicates regularly with campus police and university administrators. You are also likely to face parallel proceedings on and off campus regardless of the location of the offense.

Sanctions for violating your college or university’s code of student conduct can include loss of campus housing, probation, suspension, or expulsion. However, a first offense will likely not garner this consequence. First time offenders will likely be fined and required to complete an alcohol education course, similar to the one most colleges require students to complete prior to their first year. A second alcohol related offense will likely include a heftier fine and probation. After the second offense, a student is likely to lose some academic rights and possibly be suspended or expelled. If you are facing an alcohol violation, it is important to contact an experienced student defense attorney to help you receive a fair sanction during your university disciplinary hearing.

Is there an EMS service I can call if I am drunk on campus? Will students get in trouble for calling on campus EMS?

Most universities have an on-campus EMTs or student run EMS that respond to not only medical emergencies but also alcohol-related medical situations. Often times, a police officer is dispatched along with these EMS to ensure the safety of all people involved. Most schools have a medical amnesty policy meaning that the medical personnel in these on-campus or student run EMS are subject to patient confidentiality laws and are not required to report any alcohol-related incidents to the university; however, any law enforcement at the scene are required to report any underage consumption of alcohol or any other violations of D.C. law that could have occurred in the incident.

Skip to content