Greeks and the Law

Alcohol Laws

“No person under the age of twenty-one (21) years shall purchase, attempt to purchase, accept delivery, accept a gift of, or have possession of or consume alcoholic liquor … ”

“Possession” of alcohol, rather than “consumption” is the most common charge. When one consumes, one inherently possesses, but one can easily possess without consuming.

Constructive Possession

One can violate this law by being in actual physical possession of alcohol or through constructive possession where the alcohol is within “reach”, “dominion”, or “control”. Being under 21 in a campus bar puts one in automatic proximity to alcohol, where the risk of a possession charge is very real.


  • City Offense: “Mail-in” $295.00 fine(this protects your license on a first offense).
  • State law: 364 days in jail, $2,500.00 fine and a one-year loss of license unless granted Court Supervision.
  • Second or subsequent offense: As mail-in and /or Court Supervision are rare, your license will be suspended.
  • University Conduct Code sanctions.


It's not just a Greek Thing!

A person commits hazing by knowingly requiring another person in any educational institution to perform an act for the purpose of joining any organization connected with that institution, if such act results in bodily harm to anyone.

The University of Illinois defines hazing as an act that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of any person OR that defaces, destroys, or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation into, admission into, affiliation with, or continued membership in, any group or organization. It is obviously a much broader definition than state law.


  • Class A Misdemeanor: Up to 364 days in jail and a $2,500.00
  • Potential dismissal from the University
  • Sanctions against the organization

Possession of Marijuana

  • Possession of Up to 2.5 grams is a Class C Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $1,000 and up to 30 days in jail.
  • Possession of an amount greater than 2.8 grams but less than 10 grams is a Class B Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $1,500 and up to six months in jail.
  • Possession of an amount greater than 10 grams but less than 30 grams is Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $2,500 and up to one year in jail.
  • Possession of amounts greater than 30 grams generally are punishable as felonies with sentences in excess of one year in jail.

Additional Penalties

  • In Champaign County, if you are sentenced for a drug or drug-related offense, in addition to other fines and jail time, you will also be ordered to undergo a drug evaluation by a state-licensed agency, to comply with all recommended treatment, and to submit to either regularly scheduled or random drug testing, all at your own expense, during the course of the sentence.
  • Loss of Federal financial aid, for example: Stafford Loans, Federal Direct Loans, Direct Plus, Federal Work Study.
  • Student Disciplinary sanctions, which could involve dismissal from the University if it appears sales or distribution was taking place.

Note: It is unlawful for anyone to knowingly possess any item of drug paraphernalia with the intent to use it in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing cannabis or a controlled substance into the human body. Possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by a minimum fine of $750, up to a maximum of $2,500, and up to a year in jail.

Fake ID

Violations include:

  • Altering your driver’ license or state ID card to show any incorrect information, including your date of birth.
  • Possessing another’s driver’s license or state ID card for any reason.
  • Using another’s identification documents to obtain a false ID.
  • Possessing, duplicating, creating, or purchasing any document or card which purports to be an official driver’s license or state ID card.


  • Class A Misdemeanor: Up to 364 days in jail, up to $2,500.00 fine
  • One year loss of your license.

Note: Police routinely confiscate fake IDs and send them to the Secretary of State, which suspends your driver’s license even though you were not criminally charged or given a city offense ticket for the charge. THIS IS LEGAL.

College Party Drugs

  • Ecstacy
  • Roofies
  • Liquid X
  • Special K


  • Possession: Class 4 Felony 1 to 3 years imprisonment.
  • Possession with intent to deliver: Class 3 felony, 2 to 5 years imprisonment. (Federal law doubles punishment if distribution is to anyone under 21).
  • Sharing is dangerous – money does NOT have to be exchanged.

Note: “Slipping her a roofie” A person cannot consent to sexual relations if s/he is in an intoxicated state. Rape in its various degrees could result in imprisonment from 1 to 30 years.

Date Rape

It isn’t just he said/she said!

The law does not define date rape, which is commonly understood to mean nonconsensual touching of a sexual nature in a dating or acquaintance relationship. The law creates four categories of sexual violence, with the two most common on campus described below.

  • Sexual Abuse: Sexual conduct as a result of force or threat of force.
    = 1 to 3 years imprisonment
  • Sexual Assault: Any act of sexual penetration by use or threat of force.
    = 4 to 15 years imprisonment.

Note: Consent is a freely given agreement to the act of sexual penetration or conduct. The following are NOT acts of consent:

  • lack of resistance,
  • submission as a result of threat,
  • the victim’s style of dress,
  • the perpetrator’s knowledge of the victim’s past sexual history.

If Arrested

  1. Do not resist arrest by a police officer even if you feel that you are innocent or if you feel that the arrest itself is illegal.
  2. You need not give permission or consent to a search of your dormitory room or apartment; if you give consent, any evidence obtained from the search is admissible against you in court.
  3. If the police are in a place where they have a legal right to be, any evidence in plain view is admissible against you in court.
  4. It is illegal to search a person without probable cause.
  5. It is illegal for the police to arrest or detain a person without probable cause.
  6. It is illegal to be arrested for exercising free speech.
  7. It is illegal for the police to use excessive force against you.
  8. You need not take a breathalyzer test, but refusal to do so may result in a 180-day suspension of your driver’s license. You may request blood samples or chemical tests.
  9. If arrested or stopped by the police, stay cool, calm and friendly and do not attempt to flee or evade; be firm but not hostile.
  10. Under no condition should you submit to a polygraph (lie detector) test.

You should consult with an attorney as quickly as possible and try to remember facts, names, places, and times. Say nothing!

The information contained herein is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. Students who are confronted with legal problems or who need specific advice are encouraged to seek assistance from a licensed attorney at Student Legal Services.


Brochure Download

The information on this page is also available to download in brochure form.