October 2, 2014

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Ohio bill protects underage drinkers who summon help

COLUMBUS — A bill proposed by an Ohio lawmaker would protect underage drinkers from criminal charges if they call 911 for 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 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.

He says a college student urged him to introduce a similar bill in Ohio.


  • Paul Facinelli

    As I read the headline, I calculated the probabilities that the sponsor of the bill was a Democrat. I put the odds at 500-1 that the sponsor WAS a Democrat, because, after all, no Republican worth his punitive salt would ever be so squishy as to grant a young drinker a measure of forgiveness in order to possibly save his life. That would be way too humane, way too empathetic, two traits that are in short supply in the GOP. Oh, wait, almost forgot: Bravo, Mr. Stinziano. May your bill become law. We need more like you in the Legislature.

    • Joe Smith

      Any driver too stupid to call 911 to save a life because they would get in a little trouble must be a Democrat.

      • Zen Grouch

        Maybe they aren’t stupid, but figure the chances are 50/50, if they do kill someone, it’ll be a Republican…

        • Joe Smith

          Can’t argue with that

  • Zen Grouch

    A Republican could have very well sponsored such a bill!

    …but then, they would have probably added provisions in the fine print along the lines of being forgiven certain drunken indiscretions, such as blasting a friend/business associate in the face with a shotgun while quail hunting.

    • Joe Smith

      Or driving off a bridge in Chappaquiddick…..hic…..hic…hic….SPLASH!

      • Zen Grouch

        No big deal…

        The tricky part was getting away with it with a slap on the wrist and a huge check to Mary Jo’s parents.

  • Phil Blank

    Hello, 911?
    Yes, I need help, I can’t get this bottle of liquor open!