Office of General Counsel

Alcohol On Campus: Frequently Asked Questions


The sale, service and consumption of alcoholic beverages on the Arizona State University campus is permitted in limited circumstances. This paper answers frequently asked questions about ASU and Arizona Board of Regents' policies.


Does Arizona State University have a policy on alcohol on campus?

Yes. The Arizona Board of Regents has authorized the sale, service and consumption of alcoholic beverages on the campuses of the three universities by delegating to the President of each university, the authority to approve the sale, service and consumption of alcohol. The President has approved rules and procedures for the ASU campus. The University's policies can be found at PDP 202-03 and SSM 106-03. The Arizona Board of Regents policy is ABOR 5-108.


In what circumstances can alcohol be sold, served or consumed?

Alcohol may be served at designated special events on the ASU campus if you have obtained a valid permit to serve alcohol. The following are examples of designated special events:

  • cultural and entertainment events at which the primary participants in the event are not students and the event is not designed to appeal primarily to a student or family audience;
  • university-sponsored continuing education events or conferences;
  • invitational events; or
  • other special functions.


Can these special events be held anywhere?

No. Special events can be held only at approved designated sites, including:

  • Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium
  • Kerr Cultural Center
  • Sun Devil Stadium
  • Wells Fargo Arena
  • Memorial Union
  • University Club
  • other locations that are specifically approved by the Director of Public Safety


My College is sponsoring a seminar at the Memorial Union and the Dean wants to serve wine and cheese at the end of the seminar. Can I just go to Costco and pick-up the wine and cheese and then submit a request for reimbursement?

No. University funds can never be used to purchase alcoholic beverages. To offer alcoholic refreshments to your seminar attendees, the Dean must first submit the request for alcohol permit to the Director of the Memorial Union for approval and then submit the application to the ASU Police Department. The University representative must identify a liquor licensee as the alcohol service provider.


Where can I obtain an application for an alcohol permit?

The application form for an alcohol permit can be downloaded from the ASU Police forms page: (Please note that you need to print the front side as well as the back side of the form.) In addition, application forms are available through:

  • Memorial Union Catering Office,
  • ASU PD, 325 E. Apache Blvd., Tempe Campus
  • Insurance Services in the University Services Building, or
  • Office of General Counsel, Foundation Building, Suite 335.


What kind of information do I need to provide on an application for alcohol permit?

The application requests information about various matters, including: the type of event, number of attendees, how much liquor and/or beer the sponsor is planning on serving, how much food is going to be provided, and whether the server of the alcohol possesses a current liquor license. The reverse side of the application provides information on the required types and levels of insurance coverages. If an event is to be held at the Memorial Union, the request must be submitted to the Director of the Memorial Union for approval, prior to submission to the ASU Police Department. Events held at other University locations must be approved by the applicable dean or director.


Where can I direct specific questions regarding the status of an application for alcohol permit?

  • Application Status Questions: 480.965.6589
  • Security Requirements: 480.965.6902
  • Insurance Requirements: 480.965.0975


How far in advance of the scheduled event do I need to submit the application for alcohol permit to the ASU Police Department?

The ASU Police Department requests that you submit the form at least 14 calendar days prior to the date of the scheduled event. This allows appropriate staff personnel to research the requirements for each event and assure appropriate compliance. Applications should be sent to the attention of the Chief of Police at the Police Department at 325 E. Apache, Tempe (or campus Mail Code 1812). The ASU Police Department will notify you when the alcohol permit is available to be picked-up at the Police Department.


What do I do with the Alcohol Permit after picking it up from the ASU Police Department?

As the University Representative, you need to display the signed permit at the site of your special event. The permit includes information about your special event. Any law enforcement officer or officer of the Liquor Board has the right to inspect the permit to assure that the event is being conducted as described in the permit application. The University Representative is responsible for being in attendance at the event and for compliance with state law and Board and University policies and procedures for alcohol service. You are also responsible for seeing that the conduct of the event does not interfere with classes or other University activities.


Can an employee in the Department serve alcohol at the event?

No. You must use a server who possesses a current Arizona liquor license ("Liquor Licensee") and who carries the insurance levels required under EHS 705-04. In addition, the Liquor Licensee must adhere to the following rules:

  • No person shall sell, furnish or give alcoholic beverages to any person under the age of 21.
  • No person under the age of 21 shall be allowed to sell or serve alcoholic beverages.
  • No person authorized to sell or serve alcoholic beverages may consume such beverages while they are so engaged or employed.
  • No person may sell or serve alcoholic beverages to any intoxicated or disorderly person, and such intoxicated persons shall not be allowed to remain on or about the premises in which alcoholic beverages are furnished for more than 30 minutes after the state of intoxication is known or should be known to a person selling or serving alcoholic beverages.
  • A person under the age of 21 shall not be allowed to remain in the area in which alcoholic beverages are served unless the person is accompanied by a spouse or parent or legal guardian who is of legal drinking age, or the person is an on-duty employee of a liquor licensee.
  • Any person authorized to serve alcoholic beverages who has reason to question whether the person ordering or attempting to order alcoholic beverages is under the age of 21 shall require that person to show an identification card that includes a photograph proving the individual is at least 21 years of age.


Can we serve alcohol at our event if we are charging an admission price or soliciting donations?

No. Events which are serving alcoholic beverages cannot sell tickets to the event, charge for admission to the event or solicit donations for the event.


Do we have to serve food and non-alcoholic beverages at our event?

Yes. Food and non-alcoholic beverages must always be available at an event at which alcohol is being served.


Does the food have to be provided by a University-approved caterer?

Events at the Memorial Union must be catered by the food service provider contracted by the University for the Memorial Union and authorized to serve or sell alcohol. The University's policy on food service is available at SSM 801-03.

Events held at venues under the oversight of either the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics or Public Events must obtain food through Fine Host Services.

If an event is held elsewhere on campus, then arrangements for food and beverage must be made through either the Catering Office of the MU or through a university approved vendor. View the list of university approved vendors.


Can I tailgate before a home football game?

Yes. The President has authorized tailgating to occur in the University's parking lots and structures 3½ hours preceding home football games. The consumption of beer and wine is permitted but under Arizona law, the consumption of liquor is not authorized. Beer and wine cannot be taken into Sun Devil Stadium nor can they be consumed in the parking lots/structures once the game commences. Individuals consuming beer or wine must be of legal age, i.e., 21 years of age or older. Tailgating refers to activity by an individual or an informal gathering of several individuals. Formal organized events, such as when a company plans and has catered an event with food and alcohol, are required to obtain an alcohol permit.


Is tailgating permitted for sports other than football?

No. The consumption of alcohol prior to home competitions of other intercollegiate sports has not been authorized. Individuals who ignore this prohibition are violating both University policy and state law and may be held accountable under the University's disciplinary policies (SPP 801 and SPP 809 and SSM 106-03 and SSM 104-01) and state law (A.R.S. §4-244).


What is the rule for home Cardinals football games?

The same rules for tailgating at a home ASU Sun Devils football game apply for home NFL Cardinals' games and other professional sporting events. In addition, beer sales inside of Sun Devil Stadium are permitted for professional sporting events.


What is the alcohol policy in the halls?

Residential Life students are prohibited from possessing or consuming alcohol, or hosting or being in the presence of others consuming alcohol in any of ASU’s residence halls or on ASU grounds. In addition, all provisions of Arizona state law regarding alcohol are in effect at all times, including but not limited to the minor in consumption (returning to the hall intoxicated), minor in possession, and public consumption laws.

Devices designed for rapid consumption of alcohol (e.g., beer bongs, funnels, etc.) are prohibited and subject to confiscation. Kegs and other common source containers are prohibited. Due to health risks and the negative message sent to minors, residents are not permitted to possess/decorate their rooms with empty alcohol containers and or paraphernalia.


Can I drink in leased fraternity housing?

Except as otherwise provided in the lease, resident students of the house who are 21 years old or older may possess and consume alcohol in the privacy of their house. Guests who do not reside in the house are not permitted to possess or consume alcohol in the house or on the leased property unless the ASU Police Department has issued an alcohol permit to cover the activity. Individual housing agreements may impose additional restrictions.


Some of the legal material found at this site has been abridged from laws, regulations, court decisions, administrative rulings, ABOR and ASU policies and other sources. Further details may be necessary for complete analysis and understanding in particular matters. The information contained at this site, and related links, is not a substitute for professional legal counsel. Any discrepancy between the information at this site and ASU policy is not intended to alter or amend official ASU policy or procedure.

Any links to non-Arizona State University information are provided as a courtesy. They are not intended to nor do they constitute an endorsement by the Arizona Board of Regents or Arizona State University of the linked materials.