Texas A&M University Alcohol Rules and the Laws That Apply to Student Organizations, Residence Hall Students, and Others (Revised: 2003)
Individuals must be at least 21 years old to purchase, possess or consume alcoholic beverages. Texas A&M University is an educational institution dedicated to the pursuit of excellence, the promotion of academic achievement and the advancement of knowledge. Because of the university's interest in the intellectual, physical and psychological well-being of the campus community, it is important that the University take steps to curtail the abusive or illegal use of alcoholic beverages. Educating students about the effects of misuse and use of alcohol will help accomplish these goals.
Legal Requirements Concerning the Use of Alcohol
This summary is intended to provide general information to students of Texas A&M University at Galveston. It is for reference only and is not intended to provide legal advice. Specific advice regarding an individual person or situation should be requested from an attorney. The use of alcoholic beverages by members of the Texas A&M University community is at all times subject to the alcoholic beverage laws of the State of Texas. Such laws include:
A. Provisions Relating to Age
1. Punishment for Alcohol-Related Offense by Minor. The following penalties apply for Minor in Possession Violations (MIP) which include Attempted Purchase, Purchase, Possession, Consumption of Alcohol, and Misrepresentation of Age. ABC§106.071.
Penalties for Minor in Possession (MIP)
Offense Fine Community Service Loss of License Education Jail 1st Up to $500 8-12 hours 30 days Required None 2nd Up to $500 20-40 hours 60 days Judges' option None 3rd $250-$2000 None 180 days Judges' option Up to 180 days Deferred Adjudication is considered a conviction for enhancement (see Section C-2 below).
2. Expungement of Conviction of a Minor. Any person convicted of not more than one alcohol-related violation while a minor, on attaining the age of 21 years, may apply to the court to have the conviction expunged. The applicant shall be released from all disabilities resulting from the conviction, and the conviction may not be shown or made known for any purpose. ABC§106.12
3. Purchase of Alcohol by a Minor. A minor commits an offense by purchasing an alcoholic beverage; punishable by §106.71. (For penalties, see Section A-1 above). ABC§106.02
4. Attempted Purchase of Alcohol by a Minor. A minor commits an offense by an act amounting to more than mere preparation to purchase an alcoholic beverage; punishable by §106.071 (For penalties, see Section A-1 above). ABC§106.025
5. Sale to Minors. A person commits an offense by selling an alcoholic beverage to a minor through an act of criminal negligence. This is a Class A misdemeanor. (For penalties, see Section C below). ABC§106.03
6. Consumption of alcohol by a Minor. A minor commits an offense by consuming an alcoholic beverage; punishable by §106.071. (For penalties, see Section A-1 above). An order of deferred adjudication under this section is considered a conviction of an offense. ABC§106.04
7. Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol by a Minor (DUI). A minor commits an offense if the minor operates a motor vehicle in a public place while having any detectable amount of alcohol in the minor's system. This is a Class C misdemeanor except if the minor has been previously convicted at least twice of alcohol-related offense. Deferred Adjudication is considered a conviction for enhancement. A Minor is not eligible for deferred adjudication on 3rd offense. (For penalties, see the following chart and Section C-1 below. See also Sections B-8,9). ABC§106.041
Penalties for DUI by a Minor
Offense Fine Community
Loss of License
Education Jail Failing* Refusing* 1st Up to $500 20-40 hours 60 days 180 days Required None 2nd Up to $500 40-60 hours 120 days 2 years Judges' option None 3rd $250-$2000 40-60 hours 180 days 2 years Judges' option Up to 180 days *Failing a breath/blood test means there was ANY detectable amount of alcohol present. Due to implied consent, refusing to take the breath/blood test results in higher penalties. TRC§521.342
8. Possession of Alcohol by a Minor. A minor commits an offense by possession of an alcoholic beverage; punishable by §106.071 (For penalties, see Section A-1 above). Exceptions; a minor may possess an alcoholic beverage while in the course and scope of employment, or in the visible presence of an adult parent, guardian, or spouse. ABC§106.05
9. Purchase of Alcohol for a Minor, Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor. A person commits an offense by purchasing an alcoholic beverage for a minor, or by furnishing an alcoholic beverage to a minor through an act of criminal negligence. This is a Class B misdemeanor. (For penalties, see Section C-1 below). ABC§106.06
10. Misrepresentation of Age by a Minor. A minor commits an offense by falsely stating or presenting any document indicating that the minor is 21 years of age or older to a person engaged in selling or serving alcoholic beverages. This is a Class C misdemeanor. (For penalties, see Section C-1 below). ABC§106.07
B. Intoxication and Alcoholic Beverage Offenses
1. Definition of Intoxication. "Intoxicated" is either 1) not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties due to the introduction of alcohol or other drugs into the body; or 2) having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. PC§49.01
2. Public Intoxication. An individual commits an offense by appearing in a public while intoxicated to the degree that the individual may endanger the person or another. This is a Class C misdemeanor. (For adult penalties, see Section C-1 below. For minor penalties, see Section A-1 above.) PC§49.02
3. Possession of Alcoholic Beverage in Motor Vehicle. A person commits an offense by knowingly possessing an open container in a passenger area of a motor vehicle that is located on a public highway, regardless of whether the vehicle is being operated or is stopped or parked. This is a Class C misdemeanor. (For penalties, see Section C-1 below). PC§49.031
4. Driving While Intoxicated. A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. If at the time of the offense the driver had an open container of alcohol in their immediate possession, the offense is a class B misdemeanor, and the minimum term of confinement is six days. A second DWI within 5 years will cause installation of a breath test device on the vehicle to prevent operation if ethyl alcohol is detected in the operator's breath. If the driver had a passenger who is younger than 15 years of age, the DWI is a state jail felony, instead of a Class B misdemeanor. The fact that the driver is or has been entitled to use the alcohol, controlled substance, drug, dangerous drug, or other substance is not a defense. Each year, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) assesses a surcharge on the driver's license of drivers who during the past 3 years were convicted of DWI. The surcharge is $1,000 per year for 3 years. A second DWI conviction costs a surcharge of $1,500 per year for 3 years. If the driver had an alcohol concentration of 0.16 or more, the surcharge is $2,000 per year for 3 years. Driver licenses can be suspended for one year for DWI. Driving with a suspended license is a Class B misdemeanor with increased license suspension time. In addition, the DPS assesses a $250 surcharge on the license per year for 3 years. (For penalties, see the following chart and Section C-1 below. See also Section B-8, 9 below). PC§49.04
Penalties for Driving While Intoxicated
Offense Fines Loss of License Jail 1st Offense Up to $2,000 90 days - 1 year 72 hours - 180 days 2nd Offense Up to $4,000 180 days - 2 years 30 days - 1 year 3rd Offense or more Up to $10,000 180 days - 2 years 2 - 10 years
5. Flying or Boating While Intoxicated. A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating an aircraft or watercraft. This is a class B misdemeanor with minimum jail term of 72 hours. (For penalties, see Section C-1 below. See also Section B-9 below). PC§49.05, §49.06
6. Intoxication Assault. A person commits an offense by causing serious bodily injury to another, by accident or mistake, while operating an aircraft, watercraft, or motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. This is a 3rd Degree felony. (For penalties, see Section C-1 below. See also Section B-8, 9 below). PC§49.07
7. Intoxication Manslaughter. A person commits an offense by causing the death of another, by accident or mistake, while operating an aircraft, watercraft, or motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. This is a 2nd Degree felony. (For penalties, see Section C-1 below. See also Section B-8,9 below). PC§49.08
8. Administrative License Revocation. Upon arrest for DWI, Intoxication Assault, or Intoxication Manslaughter, failing the breath/blood (BAC) test can result in license revocation. Revocation may not be probated and there is a $125 reinstatement fee. An appeal process is available. (For penalties, see the following chart).
License Revocation Penalties for Adults
Terms of Offense Failing BAC test Refusing BAC test 1st Offense 90 days license revocation 180 days license revocation Previous Revocation due to:
Refusal/failure of BAC test
1 year license revocation 2 year license revocation Previous Revocation due to:
DWI or Intoxication Manslaughter
1 year license revocation 2 year license revocation
9. Consent to Taking of Specimen. A person arrested for DUI, DWI, Intoxication Assault, Intoxication Manslaughter, or Boating While Intoxicated, implicitly consents to taking of breath or blood specimens. Analysis of the specimens is to determine the presence or concentration of alcohol or other drugs. The person arrested may consent to submit to the taking of any other type of specimen (For adult penalties, see the chart in Section B-8. For minor penalties, see the chart in Section A-6 above). TRC§724.011
10. Consumption After Hours. Consumption of alcoholic beverages in public areas is restricted in the city of Galveston as follows:
Monday-Friday: 2:00 a.m. - 7:00 a.m.
Saturday: 2:00 a.m. - 7:00 a.m.
Sunday: 2:00 a.m. - 12:00 Noon
"Public place" means any place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access. This includes, but is not limited to, streets, highways, and the common areas of schools, hospitals, apartment houses, office buildings, transport facilities, and shops. This is a Class C misdemeanor. (For penalties, see Section C-1 below). An exception to this law is that mixed beverage premises license holders only may also provide mixed beverage service between the hours of 12 Noon and 12 Midnight on Sunday. The mixed beverage service may be provided only in conjunction with the service of food.
C. Legal Charges and Penalties
Legal Charges and Penalties Fine and/or Imprisonment 1st Degree Felony Punishment Up to $10,000 5 to 99 years 2nd Degree Felony Punishment Up to $10,000 2 to 20 years 3rd Degree Felony Punishment Up to $10,000 2 to 10 years Class A Misdemeanor Up to $4,000 Up to 1 year Class B Misdemeanor Up to $2,000 Up to 180 days Class C Misdemeanor Up to $500 none
2. Enhance Offenses and Penalties. Previous convictions for driving, boating, or flying while intoxicated will enhance the offenses and penalties for subsequent DWI convictions. One previous conviction enhances the offense to a Class A misdemeanor with a minimum term of 30 days. Two previous convictions enhance the offense to a 3rd Degree felony. PC§49.09
3. No Defense. In a prosecution of consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle, DWI, intoxication assault, or intoxication manslaughter, the fact that the defendant is or has been entitled to use the alcohol or other substance is not a defense. PC§49.10
II. Texas A&M University at Galveston Rules
University Student Rules state that "drinking or having in possession any alcoholic or intoxicating beverage(s) on campus is prohibited."
Recognized Student Organizations - Sponsored Events Involving Alcoholic Beverages. It is expected that all student organizations will have their activities (sponsored, authorized, sanctioned, and/or financed) approved by the group's faculty/staff advisor and the Office of Student Life. The student organization is responsible for assuring that alcohol consumption does not detrimentally affect the health and well being of those attending the event. Recognized student organizations may hold events involving alcoholic beverages under the following conditions:
A. The possession, sale, use or consumption of alcoholic beverages, on campus is prohibited. Any situation sponsored, authorized, sanctioned, endorsed, and/or financed by an undergraduate student organization must be in compliance with any and all applicable laws and rules of the state, county, city, and Texas A&M University at Galveston, and must comply with either BYOB or third party vendor guidelines. In addition, the event or activity must be approved by the group’s faculty/staff advisor and the Office of Student Life.
B. No alcoholic beverage may be purchased through an organization's funds, nor may the purchase of alcohol for members or guests be undertaken or coordinated by any member in the name of, or on behalf of, the organization. The purchase or use of bulk quantity or common sources of such alcoholic beverage (i.e. kegs or cases) shall be prohibited.
C. Open events, meaning those with unrestricted access to non-members of the organization, without specific invitation, where alcohol is present, are prohibited.
D. No members, collectively or individually shall purchase for, serve to, or sell alcoholic beverages to any minor (i.e. those under legal drinking age).
E. No organization may enter into an agreement to co-sponsor an event with an alcohol distributor, charitable organization or tavern (tavern defined as an establishment generating more than half of the annual gross sales from alcohol) where alcohol is given away, sold, or otherwise provided to those present.
F. No organization may co-sponsor or co-finance a function where alcohol is purchased by any of the host organizations or groups.
G. All membership recruitment activities associated with any student organization shall be alcohol free.
H. No alcohol shall be present at any new member activity of any student organization.
I. The organization or organizations must establish active precautionary measures to ensure that alcoholic beverages are not served to persons under the legal drinking age or to persons who appear to be intoxicated.
J. No event shall include any form of "drinking contest" or encourage the rapid consumption of alcohol in the activity or its promotion.
K. Non-alcoholic beverages and non-salty food must be available at the same place as the alcoholic beverages. Food and non-alcoholic beverages must be featured as prominently as the alcoholic beverages.
L. University Advertisement Rules Regarding Student Organization-Sponsored Events with Alcoholic Beverages.
Advertising of University events where alcoholic beverages will be consumed must be consistent with the educational philosophy of Texas A&M University and follow these conditions:
1. Advertisement for any University event where alcoholic beverages are being served must note the availability of non-alcoholic beverages and food as prominently as the alcoholic beverages.
2. The message conveyed in the promotion of any event must not encourage any form of misuse of alcohol.
3. Publicity must not convey that consumption of alcohol is the purpose or reason for the event.
4. Promotion must not refer to the amount/quantity of alcohol (5 keg party, etc.).
5. Advertisements for events must not portray drinking as a solution to personal or academic problems nor as necessary to social, sexual or academic success.
6. Alcoholic beverages must not be provided as awards, door prizes or giveaways to individuals or campus organizations.
Penalties for Non-Compliance
A student found guilty of non-compliance with these rules or the laws of the State of Texas has committed a violation of University Student Rules and is subject to sanctions commensurate with the offense and any aggravating and mitigating circumstances.
Recognized student organizations have a responsibility to abide by all conditions of these rules and University Student Rules. Actions of all recognized student organizations are subject to review by the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Auxiliary Services or his/her designee. Failure to comply with these rules and/or University Student Rules may lead to the revocation of recognition privileges or any lesser sanction.