Alcohol Policy

Document Number:
Revision #:
Document Owner:
Dean of Students
Under Revision

General Description

Policy Summary:

This policy applies to all current students, and describes compliance with law and internal policy. 


This policy ensures that Trinity University has established alcohol-related policies.


This applies to all current students. 


Policy Content
Trinity University is committed to the health, safety and well-being of each member of the University community. In order to further student learning and development and to promote the University’s academic mission, Trinity fosters an environment of personal and collective responsibility and respectful participation. This means that all members of the University community—students, faculty, staff and on-campus visitors—have a role in safeguarding a healthy living and learning environment free of the misuse of alcohol and other drugs. The University also strives to create a culture that supports students who do not use alcohol and students who are of legal age to use alcohol in a safe and responsible manner.
The health, safety and well-being of our community is the highest priority.
When a student contacts University officials or other helping professionals out of concern for another student's health and safety none of the students present (including the intoxicated student) will be considered for alcohol policy violations for that specific incident. (Note that when hazing may have occurred, State law requires that such incidents be reported to University officials.)
To provide clarification, the following definitions are provided:
  1. The term "alcohol" includes: hard alcohol, wine, beer, and any other alcoholic beverage.
  2. Beer and wine are produced by fermentation. Generally, these items can be purchased at local grocery stores and gas stations. Champagne, seltzers and similar items purchased in local grocery stores are classified in this policy as beer and wine.
  3. Hard alcohol is prohibited. Hard alcohol or distilled spirits is an alcoholic beverage produced by a distillation process. In Texas, these products can only be purchased in liquor stores and cannot be purchased at local grocery stores or gas stations.
  4. Common source containers include but are not limited to kegs, coolers and similar containers of alcoholic beverages intended to serve as a beverage source for multiple persons.
  5. A “University official” is defined as faculty, staff and paid student leaders such as Resident Assistants with a duty to uphold and enforce rules, regulations and policies of the University.
  6. An “open container” refers to a bottle, can or other receptacle that contains any amount of alcohol and that is open, has been opened or has a broken seal.
Members of the Trinity community are required to abide by all applicable laws and University policies, including those governing alcohol consumption, distribution and possession. Under Texas law and University policy, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase, possess, or consume alcohol in any public or private space on University property.

Trinity University has determined the following:
  1. Students 21 and older may possess and consume beer or wine in their private residential room. Hard alcohol is prohibited.
  2. Games and activities that promote high-risk drinking or rapid alcohol consumption are prohibited on campus.
  3. It is illegal to provide and serve alcoholic beverages to underage individuals.
  4. The use, possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages as part of University-sponsored activities must be approved though the Risk Management Requirements to Serve Alcohol Policy.
  5. Persons or organizations that furnish alcoholic beverages to underage students or visitors at Trinity-sponsored events will be subject to University action and/or criminal prosecution.
  6. Any act that causes others to involuntary or unknowingly consume alcohol is prohibited.
  7. Public intoxication is prohibited. Generally a person is considered intoxicated if that person has consumed alcohol and is disruptive, disrespecting others, and/or potentially posing harm to themselves or others.
  8. Open containers of alcohol may not be possessed or consumed in any public space on the University premises (including but not limited to campus facilities, residential lounges, grounds or adjacent streets).
  9. Parents/guardians or spouses of students may not provide or serve alcohol to underage students at University events or on University premises.
  10. Empty and clean alcoholic containers may be used for decorative purposes in residential rooms for all students, even those under 21. Decorative containers are limited to two (2) per resident. Empty hard alcohol containers are not permitted.

Alcohol in living communities
Some residential halls and residential spaces are substance free. Students over the age of 21 living in “substance free” communities may not possess alcoholic beverages. Students should consult the Residential Life Office with any questions.
  1. Students are personally responsible for complying with state and local laws and the University alcohol policy. Trinity University respects the privacy and autonomy of students and assumes that they will behave legally and responsibly.

    Any person who chooses to drink alcoholic beverages is expected to do so responsibly. Behaviors evident of irresponsible consumption of alcohol include, but are not limited to: obvious intoxication (e.g., staggering, passing out, being unable to care for oneself), excessive noise, vandalism, excessive messes (e.g., litter, spills on carpets or furniture, throwing garbage or liquids), sickness, or verbal, written, or physical harassment. These behaviors will be reported to the Office of the Dean of Students.

    Professional staff, residential life staff and the Trinity University Police Department will respond to any observed alcohol policy violations and submit incident reports to the Office of the Dean of Students or Student Life Division.

  2. Every reported incident will receive follow-up from University staff, but each reported incident will not necessarily result in a conduct violation.
  3. Alcohol policy violations may result in educational discussions, administrative hearings or Student Integrity Board hearings. Sanctions may be imposed at the discretion of the hearing officer. Sanctions may range from warnings, removal from residential life, suspension or expulsion depending on the severity of the violation.
  4. The Office of the Dean of Students maintains an Alcohol webpage providing resources for alcohol safety and support. Trinity University aims to collect alcohol assessment data through the National College Health Assessment (NCHA) in order to align harm reduction strategies to the current student culture.

    The Office of the Dean of Students and relevant stakeholders will review this policy on a biannual basis.
A. Minors and Alcohol
The legal drinking age is 21, and it is illegal for a minor to possess, purchase, attempt to purchase, or consume alcohol. A first offense results in an alcohol awareness course, community service, a 30-day suspension of driver’s license, and up to a $500 fine. Repeat offenses may result in automatic suspension of driver’s license and up to a $2000 fine and 180 days in jail. All penalties are assigned at the discretion of a judge. Possession of false identification results in up to a $200 fine. Making alcohol available to a minor results in up to a $4000 fine and/or one year in jail. A parent must appear in court for any alcohol charges filed against a minor under 21 years of age.

B. Driving While Intoxicated
​​​​​​​For anyone under 21, it is illegal to drive with any detectable Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). A first offense results in up to a $500 fine, 40 community service hours, alcohol awareness course, and 60-day suspension of driver’s license. All penalties are assigned at the discretion of a judge.The legal limit for intoxication is .08 BAC. However, drivers may be cited for impaired driving due to alcohol regardless of BAC. Refusal to take a blood or breath test to measure BAC can result in a 180-day driver’s license suspension. A first offense results in up to a $2000 fine, 180 days in jail and driver’s license suspension up to one year. Repeat offenses may result in up to a $10,000 fine, 10 years in penitentiary, and two years of driver’s license suspension.
Revision Management

Revision History Log:

Revision #:


Recorded By:

7/16/2019 9:56 AM
Christina Castillo

Vice President Approval:



Sheryl Tynes
Vice President for Student Life