Study expanding the Lifeline Law
Friday, October 25, 2013 11:00 AM
The author of Indiana's Lifeline Law that encourages young people to seek medical help for others who are dangerously intoxicated says he'll seek to broaden the statute.
State Sen. Jim Merritt wants the legislature to consider expanding the law to offer immunity for certain alcohol-related offenses to Good Samaritans who seek help in all medical emergencies.
If the goal is to save lives, Merritt's idea should seriously be considered.
Too many people still operate under the "I don't want to get involved" theory - especially if illegal activity is involved.
Expansion of the law might dispel some of that fear.
Merritt, of Indianapolis, says he'll introduce the broader law in the 2014 General Assembly.
He says the expansion proposal was prompted by discussions on college campus that he and Attorney General Greg Zoeller have had while promoting the current Lifeline Law. Zoeller supports broadening the law.
The Lifeline Law exempts minors who are under the influence of alcohol from being prosecuted for crimes such as minor possession or consumption if they request medical attention for another person suffering from alcohol-related complications.
This shouldn't be a difficult debate for the legislature. The proposal should be considered.