A Message to College Students: Indiana's Lifeline Law Can Shield You From Prosecution

As a new school year is about to begin, I thought it would be appropriate to shed some light on Indiana’s Lifeline Law. Sobering Fact: There are approximately 2,200 alcohol poisoning deaths in the United States each year.

Particularly among college students, there is a fear that being underage and calling the police can land you in the slammer. That fear can lead to many intoxicated individuals who need medical assistance from never receiving the care they need because of the possibility of punishment by law enforcement. In certain circumstances, Indiana’s Lifeline Law provides a safe-harbor for those who report another’s need for medical care and cooperate with law enforcement and medical personnel.

Indiana’s Lifeline Law provides that a person is immune from arrest or prosecution for certain alcohol offenses if the arrest or prosecution is due to the person: (1) reporting a medical emergency; (2) being the victim of a sex offense; or (3) witnessing and reporting what the person believes to be a crime.”

Indiana’s Lifeline Law provides immunity for the crimes of public intoxication, minor in possession of alcohol, minor consumption of alcohol, and similar laws, to persons who identify themselves to law enforcement while seeking medical assistance for a person suffering from an alcohol-related health emergency. In order to receive immunity, the reporting individual must demonstrate that they are acting in good faith by fulfilling the following expectations:

providing their full name and any other relevant information at the request of law enforcement officers;

remaining on the scene until law enforcement and emergency medical assistance dismiss; and

cooperating with all authorities.

It is important to note that Indiana’s Lifeline Law does not prevent prosecution for other criminal offenses such as providing alcohol to minors, operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI/DUI), or possession of a controlled substance.

Navigating the legal system can be tricky at times and that is why you should consult with an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney to discuss your unique charges. Attorney Michael A. Campbell is a seasoned Criminal Defense Attorney licensed in the states of Indiana and Illinois who has experience representing individuals charged with alcohol and drug related crimes.

Know your rights. Call today for a FREE consultation to discuss your case.