OH bill protects underage drinkers who summon help

Bill would protect underage drinkers<font size="2"> from criminal charges if they call 911 for help.</font>

A bill
proposed by an Ohio

lawmaker would protect underage drinkers from criminal charges if they are seeking help.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the bill would expand so-called "good Samaritan" protections to those younger than 21 in an effort to save lives. It would keep them from being prosecuted for underage drinking in certain situations.

Currently, only those 21 or older can possess and drink alcohol.

Rep. Michael Stinziano, a Columbus Democrat, said the
bill would extend similar protections given to students on some Ohio college campuses.

Stinziano says a college student urged him to introduce the bill.

He adds that 19 states have enacted laws providing limited criminal immunity to those who seek emergency medical assistance for someone experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose.

In 2012, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a similar piece of legislation into law.

(An AP article contributed to this report)