(HARRISBURG) – Minors who call 911 to help an intoxicated friend in an emergency situation would be spared prosecution under legislation that has been reintroduced by Senator John Rafferty (R-Montgomery).
Specifically, Senate Bill 448 would grant immunity to an individual for the summary offense of underage drinking as it relates to the consumption of alcoholic beverages by a person under the age of 21. Under the provisions of Senator Rafferty’s legislation, an individual must call 911 to report the person in need of medical attention, must provide their name to the dispatcher, and must remain with the person in need of assistance.
Senator Rafferty, who has been an ardent supporter and author of tougher laws to prevent underage drinking, said his legislation – which passed unanimously out of the Senate last session – is intended to protect public safety and prevent needless tragedies.
“Underage drinking is a serious matter, and we don’t want to give minors a free pass. But if kids are in trouble and require medical attention, we shouldn’t discourage anyone in a position to help them from seeking critical and timely aid,” Senator Rafferty said. “This legislation has support from several groups, including the Pennsylvania DUI Association and state District Attorneys Association because it provides a safe way to defuse an unsafe situation.”