Lawmakers OK amnesty for minors who call for help

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Amnesty from underage drinking charges for those younger than 21 who report sexual assaults or drug overdoses has support from Indiana lawmakers.

House members voted unanimously Wednesday to approve the expansion of what's now called the Lifeline Law.

Current law gives immunity from certain criminal charges to anyone under 21 who reports alcohol-related health emergencies. Immunity would apply to those who report any medical emergency involving alcohol if the proposed bill becomes law.

The bill also would allow some firefighters and other first responders to administer an overdose prevention drug.

Last fall, Sen. Merritt spoke with Eyewitness News about the need to educate young people about the law after the August 2013 death of Rachael Fiege, an Indiana University freshman from Zionsville.

Fiege died after a fall down the steps at an off-campus party before the fall semester began. She had a catastrophic brain injury. Her friends waited six hours to call 911, when they realized she was unconscious.

Merritt wants more young people to learn about the law and call for help during an emergency.

Read the text of the bill.

Learn more about the current Lifeline Law.

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