Media Blitz To Raise Awareness Of Lifeline Law On Ind. College Campuses
By Mike Perleberg
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Every 44 hours in the U.S., a college-aged person dies from alcohol poisoning by drinking too much, too fast.
In hopes of saving lives, college campuses across Indiana are making an effort to educate students about the state’s Lifeline Law. The statute protects minors under the influence of alcohol and drugs who call and report a medical emergency, such as alcohol poisoning, from criminal prosecution.
State Senator Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) authored the law first passed in 2012 and expanded this year to include protection for individuals reporting sexual assaults and drug overdoses. On Tuesday, Merritt announced the launch of a social media campaign to raise awareness for the Lifeline Law.
“Every year there will be a 17-year-old or 18-year-old silly freshman who binge drinks and doesn’t know the Lifeline Law, and could pay the ultimate price,” Merritt said. “They all make mistakes. This is a teaching moment. Not a prosecutorial moment.”
Dawn Finbloom, who lost her son to underage binge drinking, has become an advocate for the Lifeline Law.
“We’re doing a good job getting the word out, but we need to do a great job. We can’t lose anymore young Hoosiers’ lives,” she said.
In coming weeks, students at more than a dozen campuses will receive messages on their phones and computers. The campuses include Indiana University, Purdue, Notre Dame, Ball State, Indiana State, IUPUI, Southern Indiana, Evansville, DePauw, Wabash, Butler, Trine and Indiana Wesleyan.
Ads will also run on the radio, Internet radio, YouTube and Facebook.
To receive immunity under the Lifeline Law, underage individuals must stay at the scene until help arrives and cooperate with authorities. More information about the law is available at www.indianalifeline.org.