Corbett Signs Medical Amnesty Bill into Law

About a month ago, we reported that the Pennsylvania State Senate had advanced a bill to establish a medical amnesty plan for that provides legal amnesty to underage individuals who call emergency authorities to help a friend or acquaintance with a life-threatening, alcohol-related illness.

Yesterday Gov. Tom Corbett signed the measure into law. The provision takes effect in 60 days — not soon enough for Arts Fest, but in time for the vast majority of the school year.

Here’s the state-provided description of the measure and its stipulations:

The bill amends 18 Pa.C.S. (Crimes and Offenses) to add a subsection to Section 6308 creating immunity from prosecution for a person under the age of 21 for the possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages if law enforcement, including campus safety police, became aware of the possession or consumption solely because the individual was seeking medical assistance for someone else. The person seeking the assistance must reasonably believe he or she is the first to call for assistance, must use his own name with authorities, and must stay with the individual needing medical assistance until help arrives.

All in, it’s a win for CCSG, which originally advanced the proposal locally at Penn State, and indeed for all underage people statewide. Huzzah!

Update 7/9/11: Thanks to Geoff Halberstadt (@GLHPSU) for pointing out that the UPUA actually advanced similar legislation too! Check out this policy that dates back to Gavin Keirans’ term in office. Double huzzah!

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