City News Service

UC Irvine Student Died Due to Alcohol Poisoning at Frat Party, Officials Confirm

Toxicology tests did not find any other substances in his system.

An 18-year-old UC Irvine student died from alcohol poisoning in January at an off-campus party that led to the suspension of a university fraternity, authorities said Monday.

Noah Domingo of La Crescenta had a blood-alcohol level of .33, which is more than four times the legal limit for adult drivers 21 and older, said Carrie Braun of the Orange County Sheriff's Department's Coroner Division. The official cause of death was accidental acute ethanol intoxication, she said.

Toxicology tests did not find any other substances in his system, Braun said.

Irvine police have an ongoing death investigation and will turn over evidence to the Orange County District Attorney's Office to determine if charges are warranted.

Domingo's time of death was about 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 12.

Irvine police were dispatched at 9:42 a.m. that day to a home at Turtle Rock and Campus Drive in response to a man who was "unresponsive," according to Kim Mohr of the Irvine Police Department. He was pronounced dead at the home.

Edgar J. Dormitorio, the interim vice chancellor of student affairs, said in January that the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity has been placed on interim suspension.

The national council of Sigma Alpha Epsilon voted to spend the charter of the UCI chapter, and then on Feb. 21 closed it and disbanded the undergraduate group of members, according to UCI spokesman Tom Vasich.

The university released the following statement:

"We remain shocked and saddened by Noah's tragic death, and we offer our deepest sympathies to the Domingo family for their loss. His death brings an urgent focus on alcohol and substance abuse, from the cultural pressures that encourage unhealthy behavior to the policies designed to mitigate danger.

"Chancellor Howard Gillman has directed our Division of Student Affairs to assemble a team of students, faculty, staff and external experts to offer recommendations for how we might improve our culture and policies to help ensure a healthier environment in the future. In addition, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon national organization closed the UCI chapter indefinitely.

"In memory of Noah, let us work toward a future in which we all benefit from an enhanced culture of self-care, mutual care, bystander intervention and whole-person wellness."

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