Ty Lawson and UNC basketball fans can be glad the point guard due in court this afternoon wasn't charged with DWI.
Lawson faces several charges including driving after consuming alcohol under age, the charge you get if you're under 21 and caught driving with any alcohol in your body. That puts him under the university's alcohol policy, where violations are handled administratively. If he had been charged with a DWI, his case would likely have gone to the student honor court, where a conviction on DWI or reckless driving charges usually lands a one-semester suspension.
The suspension for driving while impaired has been the honor court's practice. As of June, it's now codified, or written into the honor code. Students can still get less or more punishment -- the minimum is disciplinary probation for a semester -- but the typical punishment has been and will remain a semester out of school.
The Honor Court handles 200-250 cases a year, Jonathan Sauls, assistant dean of students for judicial programs, told me a few minutes ago. Most fall under the undergraduate court, and most of those involve academic violations. The courts handle about 15 to 20 DWI cases a semester, he said.
The Daily Tar Heel has more on the Honor Court policy in this morning's edition. (Sauls says despite that story's lead sentence, the policy has been in effect since then Chancellor Moeser signed it June 3.)