TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — An Arizona State University student who passed out and was left in a wheelchair in a hospital lobby with a Post-it note to tell doctors that he had participated in a drinking competition apparently put back about 20 shots of tequila.
Police are considering citing the student for underage drinking in what is the latest alcohol-related incident to involve ASU students in recent months.
The 19-year-old student was found early Saturday in the emergency room lobby of St. Luke's Hospital, according to Tempe police spokesman Sgt. Michael Pooley. A sticky note on the student's body gave his name and said he'd been drinking and needed help. Hospital staff noticed the student and helped him.
The student had passed out and started shaking and turning blue before the student's fraternity brothers dropped him at the hospital, police said. The fraternity brothers initially tried taking the victim to one of their homes because they were afraid of getting into trouble.
Pooley said the student consumed about 20 shots of tequila and had a blood-alcohol level of 0.47 percent, nearly six times the legal limit for driving. The student, who has not been identified, has been released from the hospital.
The student told police that he and his friends belonged to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. The drinking competition was not an official fraternity-sponsored event and involved a few friends, police said.
The case remained under investigation Tuesday, but police said it was not likely that the friends would face any criminal charges.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon drew headlines last year when another of its members, Jack Culolias, drowned in the Salt River. The 19-year-old was last seen Nov. 30 after being kicked out of a Tempe bar during a fraternity party and was suspected of being drunk. His blood-alcohol level was 0.28 percent, according to an autopsy.
"It's not just this fraternity. We've had a lot of issues with fraternities this year," Pooley said.
Police said one of the reasons is this marks the first year after ASU closed all on-campus Greek housing. The move pushed fraternities and sororities into the city.
In another case, five people were arrested just weeks ago at a fraternity brawl that involved baseball bats and gunfire. Surveillance cameras captured much of that incident, which was stemmed from a fight over a woman.
In March, two teenage girls were hospitalized for burns after police say a 21-year-old student threw a bottle of alcohol into an open fire, causing an explosion. That student has pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault charges.
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