Editorial: State law saves lives only when it’s utilized

As college students head back to campus, it’s a good time to remind them of the Indiana Lifeline Law.

When the General Assembly passed the law two years ago, the goal was to encourage minors to call for help by giving them immunity from being prosecuted for certain crimes, including underage drinking. Getting the law passed was only half the battle, though. Making sure young people know about the protections is the other key piece, state officials and proponents say.

The original Lifeline Law, which legislators approved in 2012, gave immunity to minors on certain charges — public intoxication, minor possession, minor consumption and minor transport — if they call for help for someone who has been drinking and needs medical attention. They extended the bill this spring to also grant immunity for minors calling for anyone needing medical help or to report a crime.

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