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Laws and Policies Checklist

For the full policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs, view the Student Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook.

Here are things to ask yourself if you plan to drink:


If you are not 21, it is illegal to possess or consume alcohol.

Have a fake ID?

Your driving privileges can be suspended or revoked for violations of fake ID laws. Additionally, you can be convicted of a Class A Misdemeanor (up to 1 year in jail + $2,500 fine) or a Class 4 Felony (up to 3 years imprisonment + $25,000 fine).

Detailed Illinois state laws and penalties can be found at

21 or older?

Students of legal drinking age may drink in their Northwestern residential hall or college, with a limited number of other of-age people (fraternity and sorority houses excluded).

Have underage friends?

Selling or providing alcohol to a minor is illegal and is subject to up to a $2,500 fine for a misdemeanor ($25,000 for a felony). Learn more at

Did your friend have too much?

Always call 911 when there is any concern of a friend or other person due to an alcohol or other drug overdose.

Students who call 911 and assist others in alcohol or other drug emergencies generally face no disciplinary action for their own infractions. Read about Amnesty through Responsible Action for more information on how the University will support you and your friends when taking responsible action in an emergency situation.

Don't want your parents to know?

As is permitted by law, the Office of Community Standards makes a practice of contacting parents whenever students under the age of 21 are found responsible for an alcohol or other drug violation.

Hosting or attending events with alcohol? Know your responsibilities.

Along with every State and Federal law, the University has many alcohol policies (all found in the Student Handbook) to be aware of regarding what is and is not allowed.

Kegs or other large common source alcohol containers are not allowed on campus. If it's big enough to stand on, it's probably not allowed.

As the host of a party, YOU are 100% responsible for all of those in attendance. See the Illinois Social Host Law for detailed information of the law.

Additional information can be found on the Events and Alcohol page.

Planning to take on for the road?

Carrying a drink while walking on the sidewalk in Evanston  -- particularly on Dillo Day -- could result in a $1,000 fine. See the Laws page for a list of Evanston’s alcohol-related ordinances.

Are you a varsity athlete?

In addition to Northwestern policies, athletes are bound by NCAA rules and regulations and are advised to be familiar with them.
Doping and Substance Abuse
NCAA Drug-Testing Program

Planning to study abroad?

If you are placed on disciplinary probation for an alcohol or other drug policy violation, and that probation overlaps with the term(s) you are scheduled to study abroad, you will not be permitted to study abroad, even if your application was previously approved. For more information, visit the Study Abroad website and/or contact Community Standards.