VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - College campuses are buzzing with students again. This means this time of the year underage drinking can spike.
Thankfully, there's protection for students and other young people with the Lifeline Law. The goal is to make sure no one loses their life to alcohol poisoning because of fear.
Below is an outline of the law, according to the Attorney General’s Office:
Indiana Lifeline Law Outline
• Indiana's Lifeline Law provides that a person is immune from arrest or prosecution for certain alcohol offenses if the arrest or prosecution is due to the person: (1) reporting a medical emergency; (2) being the victim of a sex offense; or (3) witnessing and reporting what the person believes to be a crime.
• Within the State of Indiana, "the Lifeline Law provides immunity for the crimes of public intoxication, minor in possession, minor in consumption, and similar laws, to persons who identify themselves to law enforcement while seeking medical assistance for a person suffering from an alcohol-related health emergency. In order to receive immunity, the reporting individual must demonstrate that they are acting in good faith by fulfilling the following expectations:
• Providing their full name and any other relevant information at the request of law enforcement officers.
• Remaining on the scene until law enforcement and emergency medical assistance dismiss.
• Cooperating with all authorities.
• The Indiana Lifeline Law will not interfere with law enforcement procedures or limit the ability to prosecute for other criminal offenses such as providing alcohol to minors, operating vehicles while intoxicated, or the possession of a controlled substance.
According to the law, a person under 21-years-old will not be arrested or face legal consequences for calling 911 for someone who needs medical help due to intoxication.
The caller is even protected if they're drinking or have alcohol on them.
The law was passed in 2012, but is still relevant today. Vigo County Prosecutor, Terry Modesitt commented on the protection a few years ago.
“If you've been drinking before maybe you're afraid to call the police if someone's been sexually molested or you're afraid to be there at the time that the police come," said Modesitt. "Now it's saying that even if you've been drinking, and you're underage or whatever, you won't be prosecuted if you do the right thing," said Modesitt.
Protection is also included when calling about a sexual offense or other crimes in general.