NewsPublic Affairs / February 18, 2014

Lifeline Law Looks to Expand

The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers named Jim Merritt its legislator of the year for his efforts on the state’s lifeline law, which went into effect in 2012. It gives legal immunity to those under 21 if they call 911 to help someone with an alcohol related emergency. Now, Merritt wants to expand the law. 2014-02-18T00:00:00-05:00
Lifeline Law Looks to Expand

Indiana’s Lifeline Law is approaching two years.

The legislation is designed to encourage young people to call 911 if they know someone who drank too much.

State Senator Jim Merritt, R - Indianapolis, drafted the law with one primary expectation.

"That they are free to call 911 and no one would get in trouble," he said. "I believe we have met that expectation.  I believe that we have saved lives."

The law went into effect July 1, 2012 and since then Merritt believes it has helped, but he insists more still needs to be done.

"It's an all range of things," said Merritt.  "So, you could have a heroin overdose or you could have someone who is in need of medical attention because of marijuana and the like.  So, yes, we are expanding the law."

The proposed changes passed the Senate and are now under consideration in the House.

The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers honored Merritt recently as its Legislator of the Year for his work on the Lifeline Law.



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