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 & other substance misuse. Toward that end, the campus provides education, prevention, and support services to minimize misuse; encourages treatment for members of the campus community; and sets expectations for conduct in accordance with applicable laws, University policies, and campus regulations.




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 :

A. Prohibits 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 addition, the FIPG (Fraternity Insurance Purchasing Group), which has 51 member groups, issued its most recent risk management guidelines in 2017. 

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.

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.


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(link is external) at 642-6074 to make an appointment.

Alcohol and Other Drugs - Health Topic
Emergency Alcohol Intervention Steps
Responsible Bystander Policy - UC Berkeley
Intervention Tips
Confidential Counseling and Support
PartySafe@Cal Toolkit for Risk Management/Harm Reduction
Resources for Students in Recovery, Allies and Sober Curious

 Moving into the Neighborhood 

Avoid Trouble - Local and State Policies


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?(link is external)

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

New York Times, October 29, 2016: No Kegs, No Liquor: College Crackdown Targets Drinking and Sexual Assault(link is external).

Atlantic Monthly, September 2016: How Helicopter Parenting Can Cause Binge Drinking(link is external).

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

New York Times, January 19, 2015: Sorority Anti-Rape Idea: Drinking on Own Turf(link is external).

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

National Institutes of Health, March 2014: Combined Use of Alcohol, Cigarettes, and Marijuana in Early Adolescence(link is external).

Atlantic Monthly, February 2014: The Dark Power of Fraternities(link is external).