Alcohol Policy for Students

The primary concern of Butler University, including incidents of intoxication and/or alcohol poisoning, is the health and safety of the individuals involved.  Students and student organizations are expected to summon immediate emergency medical care for students, members, or guests who are in need of assessment.

The University’s policy and student conduct practices recognize and adhere to the State of Indiana’s Lifeline Law ( that:

  • Provides that a person is immune from arrest or prosecution for certain alcohol offenses if the arrest or prosecution is due to the person: (1) reporting a medical emergency; (2) being the victim of a sex offense; or (3) witnessing and reporting what the person believes to be a crime.
  • Provides immunity for the crimes of public intoxication, minor in possession, minor in consumption, and similar laws, to persons who identify themselves to law enforcement while seeking medical assistance for a person suffering from an alcohol-related health emergency.  In order to receive immunity, the reporting individual must demonstrate that they are acting in good faith by fulfilling the following expectations:
    • Providing their full name and any other relevant information at the request of law enforcement officers.
    • Remaining on the scene until law enforcement and emergency medical assistance dismiss.
    • Cooperating with all authorities.
  • The Indiana Lifeline Law will not interfere with law enforcement procedures or limit the ability to prosecute for other criminal offenses such as providing alcohol to minors, operating vehicles while intoxicated, or the possession of a controlled substance.(Note:  BUPD officers will use their discretion, and consideration will be given on a case-by-case basis when marijuana is involved.)

Butler students who actively seek medical attention on the behalf of another person in accordance with the Indiana Lifeline Law, will not be charged with a violation of University policies regarding underage use and possession of alcohol. It should be recognized that,

  • Those who assist in situations such as these can expect outreach from a Dean of Students staff member to discuss the incident.
  • In the course of investigating an incident, if someone is found to have misrepresented their involvement, it is possible that student conduct charges could be brought against the student.
  • Student conduct action could result for other policy violations such as fake identification, causing or threatening physical harm, sexual misconduct, damage to property, unlawful provision of alcohol and other drugs, harassment, and hazing, etc. If student conduct action does result, the students’ actions to secure emergency medical attention will be considered in the University’s response.

Use of Alcoholic Beverages

All Butler students are responsible for complying with state and local laws. Attention is called to the Indiana alcoholic beverages law (Indiana Code 7.1-5 found here:

The following are violations of this policy:

(a)   No person under 21 years of age may consume or be in possession of alcoholic beverages.

(b)   Persons 21 or over may not make alcoholic beverages available to minors.

(c)   It is unacceptable to misrepresent one’s age for the purpose of obtaining alcoholic beverages.

(d)   Residence hall and University apartment students 21 years of age and their guests 21 years of age or older may possess and consume alcoholic beverages on an individual basis in the privacy of their own rooms, with their room doors closed. Individuals younger than 21 years of age may not be in the presence of alcohol within the residence halls/apartments.

Alcohol on University Property and at University-sponsored Events

  1. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited on campus and on the sidewalks adjacent to campus property, except as noted in (d) above or,- With the expressed approval of the department head responsible for the administration of a designated facility/area.
    – Student organizations wanting to sponsor an event on campus with alcohol must receive prior authorization from the Vice President for Student Affairs.

    While the City of Indianapolis does permit open alcohol containers, Butler University policy does not. The exception to this rule, as noted above, is that alcohol may be served at approved events with the proper markings/area designated for alcohol consumption.

  2. No University funds or monies from student organization accounts may be used to purchase alcoholic beverages without the prior authorization of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
  3. Student organizations may provide alcoholic beverages at University-sponsored events on and off campus according to the social event guidelines.
  4. University- recognized Greek chapters may provide alcoholic beverages at events on their premises according to the Greek alcohol and social event guidelines.

(The full Student Alcohol Policy is available to download as a PDF. It is reviewed annually by the Vice President for Student Affairs.)