GW Policy Changes Result in 50% Fewer Liquor Law Violations

Police citations dropped by more than 50% due to the school’s more lenient alcohol policy.

GW Policy Changes Result in 50% Fewer Liquor Law Violations

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October 10 UPDATE: In response to the original article that was posted Wednesday, GW Assistant Director of Media Relations released the following statement:

“The numbers of students listed in the reports dropped, but that is because our reporting methods changed. The actual numbers for students referred to student responsibility was about the same. There isn’t a change in leniency, but in how our officers document each incident.”


The George Washington University (GW) Police Department filed approximately 200 fewer liquor law violations on two of its campuses last year compared to the school’s 375 violations in 2017, reports the GW Hatchet. The steep drop is being attributed to the school’s more lenient alcohol enforcement policy.

Starting in 2018, the university’s police department only cited students directly responsible for underage drinking. Previously, GWPD would cite all students for violating underage drinking laws, even if they weren’t underage or inebriated. Now officers only write up underage students who fail sobriety tests or students holding events where underage drinking occurs.

The change in policies was prompted by student complaints that the stricter alcohol policy damaged relations between students and the campus police department. Poor student-police relations could result in students being afraid to call campus public safety for help when their classmates need medical attention due to their underage drinking.

Students also claimed the previous policy resulted in unnecessary trips to the hospital emergency room.

Last year, the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) came out with new health and safety standards that ban fraternities from serving hard alcohol at any chapter event. The new rule went into effect September 1 of this year.

Additionally, many schools have banned alcohol at fraternities, including UCLA, Penn State, Louisiana State, Florida State, Texas State, Ohio State, The University of Michigan and the University of Idaho.

About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray
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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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