Alcohol Emergency Immunity (Good Samaritan Law)

The state of Pennsylvania has an alcohol emergency immunity law (Good Samaritan law). It wisely did so to protect the life and health of young people.

Alcohol Emergency Immunity

The Law

The law provides

alcohol emergency immunity1. Immunity from prosecution for a person under the age of 21. It is for the possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages.

2. And if law enforcement, including campus safety police, became aware of the possession or consumption.

3. And solely because the individual was seeking medical assistance for someone else.

4. And the person seeking the assistance must reasonably believe he or she is the first to call for assistance.

5. And must use own name with authorities.

6. And must stay with the individual needing medical assistance until help arrives.

Additional lives could be saved if more states follow in the footsteps of those who have passed similar laws.

Colleges Can Act

alcohol emergency immunityBut colleges don’t need to wait for states to take action. Hundreds have already formed their own alcohol emergency immunity policies.

Also they usually go beyond the mandates of a state law. They typically add intervention and education. That’s to reduce the need for Good Samaritan policies.

alcohol emergency immunityAn example is Bucknell. It provides for an alcohol assessment. It adds “Educational opportunities to assist in avoiding future high risk situations.”

To be effective, any alcohol amnesty policy must be widely known. It’s essential that all students know them.

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