Student Sanctions


Depending on factors such as the student’s behavior, level of impairment and degree of disruption to him/herself or others, a student may experience one or more of the following sanctions as a result of consuming alcohol:

Badger Alcohol Check

In fall 2007, the Division of Student Life launched a program intended to curb students’ excessive drinking at Badger football games. “Badger Alcohol Check” requires all students with a prior ejection or citation at a home football game to blow into a portable Breathalyzer test before a game to prove their sobriety before being admitted. Underage students must blow a 0.00 for admittance, while students of legal drinking age need to blow below the legal limit of 0.08. This programs continues to reduce inappropriate behavior at UW football games. For more information on this program, please click here.


Click here to learn more about BASICS.

Conduct Violations

The Dean of Students Office (DoSO) in the Division of Student Life administers the disciplinary process outlined in Chapter 17 of the UW System Administrative Code, and applies to the behavior of a university student, whether on or off campus. The office also offers assistance to students who need advocacy or referrals to services on or off campus. Dean of Students office staff talk with several hundred students each year about alcohol use or abuse, as well as the behaviors that often accompany irresponsible alcohol consumption.

If a student is arrested or cited for possession of alcohol or is found to have consumed alcohol in an illegal, unsafe and/or irresponsible manner — particularly on university property —it may be a violation of the University of Wisconsin System Administrative Code, and may be referred to the Dean of Students Office. Students who harass, intimidate, or assault another student while using alcohol may also be referred to DoSO for violating the Administrative Code.

While one violation of this nature may result in a warning or reprimand, multiple violations or first violations with other dangerous behavior could result in disciplinary probation, suspension or expulsion from the university or dismissal from University Housing. These more serious disciplinary sanctions are recorded on a student’s transcript and can be viewed by potential graduate programs or employers. The Division of Student Life wants all students to have a Wisconsin Experience that is free from the negative impacts of alcohol and will take all appropriate actions to address alcohol misuse.


Detox Transport for Alcohol Incapacitation

Excessive alcohol use can lead to serious medical consequences, including injuries from falls and traffic accidents, frostbite and hypothermia, and death from alcohol poisoning. When UW Police or Madison Police officers encounter a student who is nonresponsive, disoriented and unable to answer simple questions or otherwise determined to pose a risk to himself or herself, the officers may transport the student to a detoxification facility or hospital emergency room for medical monitoring. The minimum length of stay in the detox facility is 12 hours.

In general, students who are transported to detox or a hospital have a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC); however, transport judgments are made based on factors such as level of responsiveness, regardless of BAC.

During the 2013–2014 academic year, Madison Police and UW Police transported 170 students a local detox facility or a local emergency room, due to alcohol intoxication.

Students will be billed $514 (fall 2013) for each transport to the detox facility. Students are responsible for emergency room charges.

When the Dean of Students Office is notified that a student was transported for alcohol incapacitation, we will reach out to that student to encourage him or her to meet with our office, identify resources for support include the BASICS program, and alert them to the non-academic misconduct process. We encourage students to quickly enroll in BASICS following a Detox transport in order to identify strategies to reduce the future risks from their choices involving alcohol.

Legal Consequences

Citations for underage drinking, possession of a fake ID, and other alcohol-related violations may be issued by the University of Wisconsin Police Department (UWPD) or the City of Madison Police Department (MPD). In both cases, they have the full force of law and are not just “disciplinary reminders” that will disappear upon graduation. Fines must be paid and court-ordered sanctions must be fulfilled.

Both the University Police and the City of Madison notify the Dean of Students office of any students who receive alcohol-related citations from the Madison Police Department.

Be aware that alcohol is often a contributing factor in other crimes, including vandalism, disorderly conduct, robbery, assault and battery, driving while intoxicated, and sexual assault. Reduce your chances of becoming a perpetrator or victim of such crimes by using alcohol in a moderate and responsible manner.

Sample Fines (as of Fall 2012)
Underage drinking citation from UWPD $263.50 (first offense)
Underage person in a bar (Madison PD) $377
Possession of fake ID $515.50
Providing alcohol to underage persons Minimum $452.50 (first offense)
Providing alcohol to underage persons Minimum $515.50 and license suspension up to a year possible


Parent/Guardian Involvement

In the following instances, the Dean of Students Office or University Housing will, when in the best interest of the student, contact a parent or family member to enlist their assistance in addressing behaviors of concern:

  • Student is transported to a detox facility or hospital for alcohol incapacitation, regardless of age;
  • Student, who is under the age of 21, is evaluated by emergency personnel for alcohol incapacitation or is documented with a blood alcohol concentration of .16 or higher;
  • Student, who is under the age of 21, whose alcohol-related behavior is significantly disruptive to the campus community, including, but not limited to, disorderly conduct, assaultive behavior, or vandalism;
  • Student, who is under the age of 21 at the time of parental involvement, has a disciplinary sanction of probation imposed for an alcohol- or drug-related policy violation;
  • Student, regardless of age, whose behavior has posed or may continue to pose a significant risk to the health, safety, or well-being of themselves or others.