Alcohol on Campus


The University of California Berkeley was established as a public institution and is intrinsically devoted to the health, safety, and well-being of every individual in the campus community. Every member of the UC Berkeley community has a role in sustaining a safe, caring, and humane environment. Students, faculty, and staff are therefore responsible for fostering a healthy environment free of alcohol misuse. Toward that end, the campus provides education, prevention, and support services to minimize alcohol misuse; encourages treatment for members of the campus community who misuse alcohol; and sets expectations for conduct with respect to the use and misuse of alcohol in accordance with applicable laws, University policies, and campus regulations.




University Health Services (UHS) provides comprehensive medical, mental health, and health promotion services to all UC Berkeley students and is your central resource for student alcohol issues. If you feel you need to discuss alcohol-related concerns (about yourself or someone else) with a trained professional, contact UHS Social Services at 642-6074 to make an appointment.

To learn more about alcohol-medication interactions, click here.

To learn more about PartySafe@Cal, click here.



All Students

All students are subject to the Student Code of Conduct. Section 102.18 states that the Chancellor may impose discipline for "Manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, use, or sale of, or the attempted manufacture, distribution, dispensing, or sale of alcohol that is unlawful or otherwise prohibited by, or not in compliance with, University policy or campus regulations."


Students in Residence Halls

The Residential Code of Conduct prohibits the following:

A. Possession, consumption, distribution, or being in the presence of alcohol by residents under the age of 21. This includes all other use of alcohol in violation of state law or University policy. 
B. Consumption of alcohol by residents who are 21 or older is permitted only in the resident’s assigned room, and with the provision that the door is closed and no individuals under the age of 21 are present. All other use of alcohol in violation of state law or University policy is prohibited. 
C. Bulk quantities, common containers, and the manufacturing of alcohol as well as games and/or devices used or intended for the rapid consumption of alcohol. 
D. Violating any other policy while under the influence of alcohol. 

NOTE: all Freeborn Hall residents (regardless of age) are prohibited from possessing, manufacturing, distributing, selling, or consuming alcohol, illegal and/or dangerous drugs, using mind-altering inhalants or tobacco products while physically present in Freeborn Hall. This policy applies to all guests of Freeborn residents while the guests are present in the building.


Students in Fraternities and Sororities

The campus's All-Greek social code can be found at It mentions alcohol 43 times and should be read in entirety.

In addition, the FIPG (Fraternity Insurance Purchasing Group), which has 51 member groups, issued its most recent risk management guidelines in 2017. The first section is about alcohol. That section reads as follows:

1. The possession, sale, use or consumption of ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, while on chapter premises or during a fraternity event, in any situation sponsored or endorsed by the chapter, or at any event an observer would associate with the fraternity, should be in compliance with any and all applicable laws of the state, province, county, city and institution of higher education, and should comply with either the BYOB or Third Party Vendor Guidelines. BYOB is defined as one (1) six-pack of 12-ounce beers or one (1) four pack of wine coolers brought by a member or guest who is legally able to consume an alcoholic beverage.
2. No alcoholic beverages should be purchased through or with chapter funds nor should the purchase of same for members or guests be undertaken or coordinated by any member in the name of or on behalf of the chapter. The purchase or use of a bulk quantity or common source(s) of alcoholic beverage, for example, kegs or cases, is discouraged.
3. OPEN PARTIES, meaning those with unrestricted access by non-members of the fraternity, without specific invitation, where alcohol is present, are not recommended. Any event with alcohol present that can or will be associated with an entity of a fraternity should require a guest list prepared 24 (twenty-four) hours in advance of the event. It is recommended that a list of those who attend be maintained for several years.
4. No members, collectively or individually, should purchase for, serve to, or sell alcoholic beverages to any minor (i.e., those under legal drinking age).
5. It is recommended that the possession, sale or use of any ILLEGAL DRUGS or CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES while on
chapter premises or during a fraternity event or at any event that an observer would associate with the fraternity
be prohibited.
6. No chapter should co-sponsor an event with an alcohol distributor or tavern (tavern defined as an establishment generating more than half of annual gross sales from alcohol) at which alcohol is given away, sold or otherwise provided to those present. This includes any event held in, at or on the property of a tavern as defined above for purposes of fundraising. However, a chapter may rent or use a room or area in a tavern as defined above for a closed event held within the provisions of this policy, including the use of a third party vendor and guest list. An event at which alcohol is present could be conducted or co-sponsored with a charitable organization if the event is held within the provisions of the organization and college or university policy.
7. No chapter should co-sponsor, co-finance or attend or participate in a function at which alcohol is purchased by any of the host chapters, groups or organizations. 
8. All recruitment or rush activities as sociated with any chapter should be non-alcoholic. No recruitment or rush activities associated with any chapter should be held at or in conjunction with a tavern or alcohol distributor as defined in this policy.
9. No organization or member or pledge, associate/new member or novice should permit, tolerate, encourage or participate in "drinking games.” The definition of drinking games includes but is not limited to the consumption of shots of alcohol, liquor or alcoholic beverages, the practice of consuming shots equating to one’s age, “beer pong,”
“century club,” “dares” or any other activity involving the consumption of alcohol which involves duress or encouragement related to the consumption of alcohol.
10. No alcohol should be present at any pledge/associate member/new member/novice program, activity or ritual of the chapter. This includes but is not limited to activities associated with “bid night,” “big brother–little brother” events or activities, / “big sister-little sister” events or activities, “family” events or activities and initiation.


Student Athletes

The consumption of alcohol is inconsistent with high performance athletics. Student athletes have a responsibility to themselves and their team to refrain from conduct that detracts from achieving their maximum potential. Coaches, staff, and student athletes share the responsibility to promote a high performance lifestyle.

To address the issues in and around alcohol use and abuse among student athletes, Intercollegiate Athletics (IA) has instituted a policy with separate sanctions for alcohol related incidents, summarized in the table below.

Definition of an alcohol related incident (ARI) will include, but not be limited to the following:

• Documented incident of alcohol use or abuse by any UC or law enforcement personnel (i.e. IA staff, residential life, UCPD, dean of students or other campus personnel).

• Documented possession or consumption of alcohol by minors (under 21 years of age).

• Possession or consumption of alcohol by any student athlete at any event where IA is represented (including, but not limited to team travel, banquets, practice or competition).

• Alcohol screening that reveals blood alcohol content above the legal limit (0.08% for adults over 21 years of age, or 0.0% for minors).

Testing for alcohol use can be performed for reasonable cause (see above) if necessary. For sanctions related to Alcohol Related Incidents, see Table 3 below. A full copy of IA alcohol policy is available as part of the ATOD program.

Table: Minimum Consequences/Penalties - Alcohol Related Incident

Consequence of Strike                   1st Incident*          2nd Incident*          3rd Incident*          4th Incident*

Counseling, Evaluation by TMC              X                         X                             X                        X

Harm Reduction Group                                                        X                             X

Coach, AD, TMT Informed                        X                        X                              X                       X

Suspension                                            None*               3 days*                   1 week*               1 year*

Additional Team Rules Penalty**              X**                      X**                          X**                    X**

Subject to Drug/Alcohol Testing                X                        X                             X                       X

Meeting w/ Assoc AD or AD                                           Assoc AD                    AD                    AD

Possible Removal from

Team/Loss of IA Aid                                   X                        X                             X                         X*

 * represents minimum

** if applicable


At the discretion of the Athletic Director or designee, a positive alcohol related incident may be noted in the Cal IA Alcohol Program based on a positive incident/test in the Cal IA Drug Testing Program. Likewise, the Athletic Director or designee may note a positive test/incident in the Cal IA Drug Testing Program as a result of an alcohol related incident. This will serve to prevent a student athlete from having multiple violations in each policy without accountability in each area. If an incident is to count in both systems, the student athlete will be informed in writing, and will have the right to appeal the decision.



Periodically we will update this section with the latest stories of interest about student alcohol use (and abuse):

New York Times, December 29, 2017: America, Can We Talk About Your Drinking?

Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, July 27, 2017: Binge Drinking Down Among Young Adults in College, Up Among Those Who Are Not.

New York Times, October 29, 2016: No Kegs, No Liquor: College Crackdown Targets Drinking and Sexual Assault.

Atlantic Monthly, September 2016: How Helicopter Parenting Can Cause Binge Drinking.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: October 15, 2015: Excessive Alcohol Use Continues to be Drain on American Economy., July 8, 2015: Rapes Assisted by Drugs or Alcohol Are All Too Common.

New York Times, January 19, 2015: Sorority Anti-Rape Idea: Drinking on Own Turf.

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), January 6, 2015: Alcohol Poisoning Deaths., November 28, 2014: The Alcohol Industry Doesn't Want You to Drink Responsibly.

National Institutes of Health, March 2014: Combined Use of Alcohol, Cigarettes, and Marijuana in Early Adolescence.

Atlantic Monthly, February 2014: The Dark Power of Fraternities.