BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — State officials have started visiting Indiana
college campuses to promote a new law that shields people from
alcohol-related arrests if they seek medical help for those who are
The law took effect in July, but Attorney General Greg Zoeller and state
Sen. Jim Merritt say many young people don’t know about it. They made stops
at Indiana University in Bloomington and Indiana State University in Terre
Haute on Monday to spread the word, and the attorney general’s office said
more similar campus visits are expected this fall.
Merritt, who sponsored the law during this year’s legislative session, said
tragedies such as the August death of an 18-year-old in Carmel from alcohol
poisoning could be prevented if friends call for help, The Herald-Times and
the Tribune-Star reported.
“Those who cooperate and stay with the ill patient and talk with the police
officer and make sure that person gets the care that he or she needs, they
are granted immunity,” said Merritt, R-Indianapolis.
The new amnesty law comes at a time when Indiana Excise Police are in the
midst of an effort to crack down on underage drinking at college campuses
across the state. The agency’s Intensified College Enforcement program
recorded 110 arrests among tailgaters at the Sept. 14 Indiana-Ball State
football game and 99 citations at the Sept. 22 Notre Dame-Michigan game.
Merritt and Zoeller said the amnesty law isn’t meant to excuse underage
drinking but to save lives.
“It’s about doing the right thing,” Zoeller said. “Doing nothing is not the