If you are a Texas A&M student and you have been reading this blog for awhile, you are probably getting pretty well-versed in the legal consequences of alcohol-related offenses. You know the penalties for a DUI are harsh; you are familiar with the hassle and aggravation of underage consumption citations.

But did you also know that Texas A&M metes out its own punishments for violating its alcohol policy? You were probably generally aware that there were consequences, but did not know the specifics.

In case you need a refresher, here is how Aggies could get punished for bad behavior linked to alcohol: under University Rule 24.3.8, having alcohol in a public area of the university or in any place "not approved for such activities," drinking underage, driving while intoxicated and being publicly intoxicated are all forbidden. This means if you are 21 and have a glass of wine at private reception for a professor's paper, that's fine - if you are 19 and are shotgunning at Natty Ice in the quad, that is not.

The potential consequences for violating Rule 24.3.8 include being put on probation, a temporary dismissal from school, a notification to parents, required participation in alcohol awareness workshops and community service.

Texas A&M is quick to point out that its own way of dealing with alcohol violations is completely separate and independent from any criminal proceedings that might stem from the same offense. Thus, you could get in trouble with the Bryan and/or College Station police and with the university over the same incident; essentially being punished twice for the same offense. Keep that in mind next time you are tempted to over-consume; is the fun you think you might have worth the possible ramifications?

Source: Texas A&M Office of the Dean of Student Life, "University Rules," last accessed Sept. 22, 2011