Medical amnesty for underage drinkers to be considered in the Oregon senate

Underage drinkers seeking medical attention for themselves or friends suffering from alcohol poisoning could receive medical amnesty under Oregon law thanks to a bill sponsored by Oregon Rep. Margaret Doherty, the Oregonian reports.

According to the Oregonian, Doherty’s inspiration for the law came from the story of a fraternity hazing incident in 2008, where an 18 year old freshman at a University of California school died of alcohol poisoning because his fraternity brothers were afraid of the consequences of driving him to the hospital. It’s an all-too-common fear according to a research study at Cornell University, where 19 percent of undergraduates said they would think about seeking medical attention for a friend with suspected alcohol poisoning, but only 4 percent actually called emergency services.

Dougherty’s law would apply amnesty from a “minor in possession of alcohol” charge to both the individual in medical danger and the caller; however, it would not extend to other crimes such as driving under the influence or possessing other controlled substances.

The bill, called D-Tigard, is set to be considered next month in the Oregonian Legislature.


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Sami Edge

Sami Edge

Sami is the Editor In Chief of The Emerald. Former intern at Willamette Week and aspiring international investigative reporter. Swimmer, writer, dreamer, reader, thinker, explorer and drinker of strong coffee.