1. MSU Ordinance 21.00

.01 The use or possession of alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine, subject to state law, is permissible in housing facilities (rooms, suites, and apartments) assigned by Michigan State University.

.02 The consumption and possession of alcoholic beverages is prohibited (a) in classrooms, lecture halls, laboratories, the libraries, and the chapel, and (b) during all intercollegiate athletic contests and during entertainment programs that are open to the general public, in the concourses and outdoor seating areas at Spartan Stadium, the arena and concourses at Breslin Student Events Center, and in all other athletic facilities.*

.03 The possession of open or uncapped containers of alcoholic beverages and the consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in all public areas of lands governed by the Michigan State University Board of Trustees and in all public areas of campus buildings, except with respect to locations, events, or occasions for which the Secretary of the Board of Trustees has approved, in writing, an exception to this prohibition. Exceptions to this prohibition will be made pursuant to guidelines approved by the Board of Trustees.**

2. State Law

Michigan Law prohibits, among other things, possession, purchase, and consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons under 21 years of age. It also prohibits the sale and furnishing of alcoholic beverages to persons under 21 years of age.

There is a potential for legal responsibility when an individual, even if unlicensed, furnishes alcoholic beverages to persons under 21 years of age. If a minor to whom the beverage was furnished subsequently has an accident attributable to the beverage, then the unlicensed furnisher may be found to be legally liable.

Also under state law, open or unsealed containers of alcoholic beverages may not be transported in the passenger compartment of motor vehicles.

Students are encouraged to become familiar with their responsibilities under the State Liquor Control Act, which may be found in the MSU Library.

3. East Lansing Ordinances

East Lansing ordinances prohibit the possession of any alcoholic beverage in an open container or a container with a broken seal in any public place or private area open to the public, except a licensed liquor establishment or elsewhere as provided by ordinance. Partying and tailgating on public property with alcoholic beverages is prohibited within the city’s jurisdiction.

City ordinance also prohibits the use of any type of false identification to enter a bar or to purchase liquor from a carry-out store and requires liquor establishments to confiscate suspected false identification and turn it over to the Police Department.

Students are encouraged to become familiar with their responsibilities under East Lansing Ordinances, which may be obtained at East Lansing City Hall.

*Denotes Civil Infraction
**trustees.msu.edu/pdf/GUIDELINES_FOR_EXCEPTIONS_TO_ORDINANCE_2021-1.pdf

  • Approved by the Board of Trustees
  • September 15, 1964
  • Revised April 17, 1970, December 10, 1994, April 14, 1995, November 14, 2003, February 11, 2005, September 16, 2005

Zero Tolerance

Michigan has a “zero tolerance” policy for drivers under 21, meaning their blood alcohol concentration cannot exceed .02 percent. This means that even one beer is too many.

Minors who have been consuming, possessing or purchasing alcohol are subject to arrest resulting in a misdemeanor and a criminal record. Penalties may include fines, community service, suspension of driver’s license, and substance abuse screening at the individual’s expense. Suspension of the driver’s license can occur whether or not the individual was driving at the time of arrest. Repeated offenses result in more severe penalties.

Use of fraudulent identification to purchase alcohol is also a misdemeanor and may result in fines, loss of license, and substance abuse screening.

Anyone 21 or older who furnishes alcohol to a minor will be fined $1,000 and face up to 60 days in jail.