Know These Alcohol Laws, Policies Before You Drink

Choosing to drink alcohol at a party today can affect your future, and I’m not just talking about that hangover the morning after!

Making informed decisions and weighing the pros and cons before you act is something you can do now to ensure you can have the best future possible.

Check out the laws and policies pertaining to alcohol consumption below so you can make the best decision for yourself when it comes to drinking:


Drinking under the age of 21:

  • Up to $500 fine / 90 days in jail (or combination)
  • Parents may be notified
  • Student Code of Conduct violation


Knowingly participating in illegal activities at house:

  • $250-$500 fine / 6 months in jail (or combination)
  • Student Code of Conduct violation


Tenant allowing illegal activities or disturbing noise:

  • $250 to $500 fine/six months in jail (or combination)
  • Student Code of Conduct violation with the possibility of probation or suspension, and/or required education


Possessing false identification:

  • Up to $500/90 days in jail (or combination)
  • Student Code of Conduct violation


Providing alcohol to someone under the age of 21:

  • Up to $1,000 fine/one year in jail (or combination)
  • Student Code of Conduct violation with the possibility of probation or suspension, and/or required education


Interfering or obstructing a police investigation:

  • Up to $1,000 fine/one year in jail (or combination)
  • Not eligible for pre-trial diversion
  • Student Code of Conduct violation


Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs:

  • Mandatory $500 fine
  • Mandatory 7 to 60 days in jail
  • Mandatory six month driver’s license revocation (one year if BAC over 0.15)
  • Student Code of Conduct violation


Urinating in public: 

  • Up to $500 fine/six months in jail (or combination)
  • Student Code of Conduct violation


Lying to law enforcement:

  • Up to $1,000 fine/one year in jail (or combination)
  • Student Code of Conduct violation

It’s also important to remember: 

  1. Some of these violations are eligible for pre-trial diversion. If eligible, average cost of diversion is $275.
  2. Violating the law can result in rescinded graduate school and job offers, fines, court costs, red flags on a background check and more.
  3. It is a university policy violation to possess or drink alcohol in any university residence hall, regardless of your age. It is also a policy violation to be in a room where alcohol is present, event if you are not personally drinking. Know that university policy violations, much like violations of the law have consequences. You can find the potential University Housing consequences clearly outlined in the resident rights and responsibilities.
  4. Student Legal Services may be able help by providing free legal advice. Learn more at


Learn more at the Campus Alcohol Risk Education website.

For more information about Nebraska Medicine – University Health Center, visit


Tips for Drinking Safely

By Kirsten Licht, MS, health promotions analyst

With the start of Husker football season, the end of a second successful week of classes and the upcoming holiday fast approaching this weekend, you might be planning ahead for how you’ll celebrate.

If your plans include consuming alcohol, remember these fast facts to keep yourself safe and healthy this weekend:

  1. Know your serving sizes. The proper portions are 1 oz. of 100 proof liquor, 5 oz. of table wine and 12 oz of beer or wine cooler
  2. Many drinks are poured into larger glasses, so you may be drinking more servings than perceived. Use this calculator to help you determine your drink size
  3. The alcohol percentage may vary by brand, so always check the label before you drink
  4. Always drink water in between alcoholic drinks
  5. Food helps slow the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream, so be sure to eat a protein-filled snack if you drink
  6. Watch what you are mixing with your alcohol. Avoid mixers with lots of sugar or caffeine
  7. If you are underage, know that violating the law can result in rescinded graduate school and job offers, fines, court costs, red flags on a background check and more. Learn more

Additional resources: 

If you’re ever concerned about your drinking habits, Counseling and Psychological Services can help. Call 402.472.5000 or visit our website to learn more about our alcohol services

Advice for a Fun, Safe Spring Break

We know what you’re thinking — only one more day until spring break! Whether you plan to fly to a tropical destination, head to the mountains to hit the slopes or go home for some quality time with friends and family, here are a few tips to ensure you have a fun and safe spring break:

On the Road

  • Driving while tired can have similar effects on your body as drunk driving. Trade drivers often or stop for the night.
  • Check the laws of your destination (e.g., open container, cell phone use).
  • Distracted driving is dangerous. Have passengers navigate, control music and text/call for the driver.

Sun and Slope Safety

  • Sunburns don’t just happen at the beach. Always use sunscreen and lip balm with at least SPF 15 and reapply often.
  • Protect your eyes with lenses that block out UV rays A and B.
  • Drink extra water: Sun exposure and altitude can be dehydrating

Condom Sense

  • Condoms help prevent pregnancy and STDs. Have them handy even if you don’t plan on being sexually active — a friend might need it!
  • Use water- or silicone-based lubricant for increased sensation and decreased chances of condoms breaking.
  • Sexual contact without consent is sexual assault. Being drunk may make your partner unable to consent.

Personal Safety

  • Have a plan before you go out. Will everyone go back to the hotel room together or are some staying with a friend? Make it specific and stick to it.
  • Know a friend or family member’s contact information in case you can’t access your phone.
  • Consider the risks associated with what you share online while you are out of town.
  • Don’t drink anything you didn’t see mixed/poured or that has been left alone.

Safer Drinking

  • If you drink, eat before and while you do it. High protein foods slow the absorption of alcohol.
  • Before going out, make a plan for getting home safely (e.g., sober driver, taxi company or ride share service).
  • If you drink, alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks throughout the night to stay hydrated and pace yourself.

For more wellness tips, follow our blog. We post weekly about topics YOU care about. To request a blog post topic, email