Policy forbids entering dorm when drunk
Entering a UA residence hall drunk – regardless if a student is of legal age – can result in being kicked out for the night, even if a student is an on-campus resident.
On-campus students age 21 or older who don’t live in Humphreys, Futrall or the First Year Experience House of Pomfret are allowed to drink in their rooms with the door shut, said Florence Johnson, associate director of University Housing. But entering a hall drunk is a different story, according to the UA Alcohol Policy, which can be found in the Student Handbook.
“Drunkenness will not be tolerated and may prevent you from entering or remaining in a residence hall,” according to the handbook.
The rule is basically a safety policy, Johnson said. Residence hall staff calls UAPD if they notice a student can’t enter the hall unassisted or can’t talk in a coherent manner, she said.
“UAPD makes the determination of whether the student should be staying in their room,” she said. “It’s all a safety precaution of someone not going up to their room and then [throwing up and choking].”
Removing a drunk student is rare, but necessary, Johnson said, because University Housing is not set up to watch them for 24 hours. If a student is removed from a hall for the night, he or she is charged with public intoxication and taken to the “drunk tank” at the Fayetteville City Jail, said Lt. Gary Crain, UAPD public information officer. But both Crain and Johnson said UAPD tries to work with students.
“Sometimes. … there’s obviously something wrong because they called us,” Crain said. “There will be some special circumstances, and we take that into account. [We see if they] can care for themselves, talk coherently and move about.”
There is no specific test required for public intoxication, Crain said, because it is a custodial charge, meaning the most that happens is the arrested person has to be supervised.
“Sometimes we give them a test of the eyes or try to have them stand straight, but that’s mostly so the officer can see if the person can pull it together and try to straighten up,” he said. “But when they [can't], they have to have someone to look after them, which is usually when they get to spend some hours in the city jail.”
Students who are sent to the drunk tank, which is like a normal jail cell without the “amenities,” remain there for four to eight hours, depending on their level of intoxication, said Sgt. Mike Key, Fayetteville police officer. They are checked every 30 minutes.
In 2003, 45 students and non-students were charged with public intoxication on campus, Crain said.