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[multiple] [s31] Sen. Merritt Honored for Life-Saving New Law
Start Date: 12/4/2012Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 12/4/2012End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

STATEHOUSE (Dec. 4, 2012) — The Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking (ICRUD) today honored State Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) with its Novo Award for his work to author a new safety initiative for Hoosier minors: the Indiana Lifeline Law.

“The Novo Award is given to legislators who take action,” Lisa Hutcheson, director of ICRUD, said. “Our board decided to honor Senator Merritt because we believe his action on the Lifeline Law will help save lives. Our college partners had already implemented similar safety initiatives on their campuses for that reason. It was nice to see Senator Merritt push their ideas at the statewide level.”

Merritt said he was humbled by the honor.

“The Indiana Lifeline Law centers around one thing — saving young lives,” Merritt said. “I am hopeful it will prevent many alcohol-related tragedies in the future, and honored local experts feel the same way.”

The Indiana Lifeline Law, passed as Senate Enrolled Act 274, prevents minors who are under the influence of alcohol from being prosecuted for crimes like minor possession or consumption if they request medical attention for another person suffering from alcohol-related complications and cooperate with law enforcement officers. The law does not interfere with the ability of law enforcement to prosecute individuals for other criminal offenses such as vandalism, driving while intoxicated, etc.

“Now, more than ever, we need to work with school leaders and families to increase awareness of this initiative among students. Our message must be clear — Make the call. Save a life.”

Norm and Dawn Finbloom, parents of Carmel teen Brett Finbloom who died in August of alcohol poisoning, accepted the Novo Award on Merritt’s behalf at the ceremony held in Indianapolis.

“Senator Merritt never ceases to amaze us,” Norm Finbloom said. “His efforts to help kids make good decisions in tough situations are ongoing, and we’re happy to aid him in that quest.”

Earlier this fall, Merritt and the Finblooms teamed with Promising Futures of Central Indiana to create the “Make Good Decisions” campaign aimed at raising awareness about the Indiana Lifeline Law. They travel to Hoosier high schools and college campuses to talk to students about the dangers of underage drinking and the importance of making a call to save a life no matter the situation at hand.

ICRUD is a subsidiary of Mental Health America of Indiana funded by state and federal grants as well as private donations. The organization’s mission is “to change policies that govern the way alcohol is marketed to, sold to and bought by underage persons” through community mobilization. The Novo Award is given to legislators who promote this mission.



Contact Information:
Name: Whitney Moorman
Phone: 317-232-7184
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • Category:
  • Government
  • Agency Name
    Senate Republican Caucus

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