Senate hears underage drinking immunity bill

Bill would give immunity to underage drinkers who call 911 for friend in trouble

Published On: Feb 05 2014 06:33:42 PM CST
MADISON, Wis. -

A bill that would give immunity from prosecution to someone who calls 911 for an underage friend in trouble with alcohol got a hearing in the Senate Wednesday.

The Committee on Colleges and Universities heard the measure, which would not allow someone who calls for help to be penalized criminally or be suspended or kicked out of housing if they were drinking themselves.

“The last tool we have left in our toolbox after an AODA (Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse) assessment, after a counseling assessment is removal from a residence hall, because they not only affect what is going on in their lives, they can affect the community of scholars in those living and learning centers,” said Gregg Heinselman with University of Wisconsin-River Falls Student Affairs.

But not everyone agrees it is the right plan.

“I think I would rather have that save my child’s life or someone else’s child’s life rather than make sure that they are exempt from housing or kicked off campus or whatever the program may be,” said Sen. Rick Gudex, R-Fond du Lac.

The Assembly held a hearing on the bill last fall, but hasn’t voted yet.