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[ATG] Indiana Lifeline Law now in effect to protect young people, encourage medical intervention
Start Date: 10/30/2012Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 10/30/2012
Entry Description

MUNCIE, Ind. Because underage drinking and binge drinking by young people creates unsafe and medically hazardous situations, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and State Senator Jim Merritt are visiting campuses to remind college students that the new Indiana Lifeline Law protects young people from arrest, if they seek help for an alcohol-related medical emergency.


“Although college students proposed this bill and the Legislature passed it without opposition, some young people are unaware that the Indiana Lifeline Law is now in force and exists to encourage medical intervention if they make mistakes with alcohol. By raising public awareness that the Lifeline Law protects them, we hope that young people will not be reluctant to call 911 – and will instead seek medical help for impaired friends and not look the other way,” Zoeller said during a visit today to the Ball State University campus in Muncie.


Senator Merritt, R-Indianapolis, was the author of the bill that passed in this year’s Indiana General Assembly, Senate Enrolled Act 274, now known as the Indiana Lifeline Law.


“More than two dozen Hoosier students under the age of 21 have lost their lives to alcohol poisoning since 2004,” Merritt said. “Unfortunately, the fact is, many of these deaths could have been prevented if bystanders or actual friends sought medical attention immediately for the victims. Indiana's Lifeline Law encourages students to do just that make the call to save a life. Visiting college campuses around the state is vital to spreading this message.”


Out of concern that underage drinkers might not seek help for an intoxicated person in medical distress out of fear of being arrested themselves, college students from several campuses around the state proposed the Indiana Lifeline Law and advocated it at the Legislature.


Intended to encourage prompt first response for medical emergencies and prevent alcohol-related deaths, the Lifeline Law creates legal immunity for the person who calls emergency services, meaning the prosecutor would not file criminal charges for alcohol offenses – such as illegal possession or public intoxication – against those who request help for an intoxicated friend. 


The Lifeline bill Merritt authored, Senate Enrolled Act 274, passed the Indiana General Assembly in March and was signed into law by Governor Mitch Daniels. It took effect July 1.


Zoeller and Merritt previously visited Indiana University in Bloomington and Indiana State University in Terre Haute to raise awareness of the Lifeline Law, and intend to visit other campuses.

“Underage alcohol consumption is illegal and not something that should be encouraged, but if young people have made one mistake with alcohol they ought not compound that mistake. The
Lifeline Law recognizes that treating a medical emergency and potentially saving a life is a higher priority and so young people, not just college students, should know they can call 911 without incurring legal consequences,” Zoeller said.



NOTE: Senate Enrolled Act 274, the Indiana Lifeline Law, is at this link:




Location Information:
Delaware County

Monroe County

St. Joseph County

State House

Tippecanoe County

Vanderburgh County

Vigo County
Contact Information:
Name: Bryan Corbin
Phone: 317.233.2970
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • Category:
  • Government
  • Residents
  • Agency Name
    Attorney General

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