Police say underage drinking law provides immunity, could save l - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Police say underage drinking law provides immunity, could save lives


College students are back to school. That means there's sure to be some parties and drinking.
Unfortunately, police say, many underage students don't know their limits and take things a little too far.

There is a law that can help protect them in case of an emergency.

It's a state law that went into effect last year and police say there have been recent examples of where the law comes into play.

Just last weekend excise police say a party at an off-campus condo in South Bend could have ended badly.

When police showed up for a noise complaint, two underage drinkers got their 22-year-old friend, who was severely intoxicated, medical help.

Because of the lifeline law, they didn't get in trouble for drinking underage.

"We're interested in getting people medical assistance," says Captain Phil Trent with the South Bend Police Department.

South Bend Police says while underage drinking is not condoned, young people shouldn't be afraid to call 9-1-1 if someone they're with is sick or hurt.

Police say while the law provides immunity, underage drinkers who seek help for others have to follow some rules.

"You have to stay. You have to provide some basic information on the patient and just broadly you have to be cooperative with law enforcement," says Trent.

Students say they think the law is a good idea.

"Something like that could have really helped, I think it was Bloomington, a girl was drinking and fell down the stairs and died. That just happened last week. Something like that could really stopped that death," says IU South Bend Freshman, Amir Blythe.

Students also say going through a situation that requires the Lifeline law, could teach an important lesson.

"They'll probably stop drinking from that, or at least cut it down," says Blythe.

Indiana isn't the only state with the Lifeline Law, seven other states have similar laws.

To learn more, visit http://www.indianalifeline.org/


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