U of I is relatively tough on its students, although it really depends on the situation you find yourself in. The campus police do not turn a blind eye to drunks, or to students caught drinking underage. They are also tough on drugs and fights, especially when those fights take place in bars. Bar raids conducted by police are not uncommon, and some students say that there are times when raids can be predicted. Situations that involve alcohol and narcotics can really get out of control, which is why cops aren’t easy on offenders.
Students’ safety is the main concern of the campus police, and they are ever-present. Nevertheless, underage drinking is still pretty common, since minors are rarely caught. It is very easy for minors to buy drinks at bars. Basically, if you have the money or the friends to do it, you can drink easily. Still, getting busted for being underage means taking a big risk. If you are caught, you might get a $300 drinking fine, jail time, or worse. As one student put it, it’s just best to wait until you turn 21 and can go out to the bars and drink legally with your friends.