Lawmaker wants to expand Lifeline Law

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INDIANAPOLIS – A state law designed to encourage underage drinkers to call for help in an emergency may be expanded to cover all injuries and illnesses if its author gets his way.

The Lifeline law went into effect in 2012. It protects minors who are under the influence and call for help if someone they know is suffering a medical emergency.

However, the law’s author wants to make some changes to widen the its net.

“What we’re trying to do is remove all barriers and just convince people to make the call and save a life,” said Senator Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis). “If it’s because of drugs, if it’s because of alcohol, or they fell out of a tree or they got into a fight, regardless if one of their friends is non-responsive, they don’t have to play doctor, they don’t have to understand exactly what is wrong with a person. All they have to do is quickly call 911.”

Many universities across the state have welcomed the current Lifeline Law with open arms.

“I don’t want to see a young person suffer the results of a night of bad decision-making where they suffer the rest of their life for it,” said Bill Weber, assistant chief for Butler University Police.

From the students he has spoken with, Weber said it is catching on.

Other students Fox 59 spoke with said a more broadened Lifeline Law would only save more lives.

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