Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and state Sen. Jim Merritt will speak to students at Indiana University Bloomington on Tuesday, Oct. 1, to raise awareness of the importance of getting help in cases of medical emergency involving alcohol.
Zoeller and Merritt will speak at 7 p.m. in Alumni Hall of the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St., as part of a program called Make the Call Day. Joining them will be Norman and Dawn Finbloom, a Carmel, Ind., couple whose 18-year-old son died of alcohol poisoning in August 2012. A reception and question-and-answer session will follow the presentations.
Make the Call Day is aimed at ensuring that IU students know about the Indiana Lifeline Law, which provides immunity from being charged with certain alcohol-related offenses for people who call for emergency medical assistance.
“We are thrilled to bring Senator Merritt, Attorney General Zoeller and the Finblooms to campus so students can hear directly how important and relevant the Lifeline Law is,” said Katy Flanigan, co-chief of staff for the Indiana University Student Association, the IU Bloomington student government organization. “We want students to know about and trust the policy, so they will never hesitate to make the call when another Hoosier needs help and will help build a Culture of Care on this campus.”
Merritt, R-Indianapolis, was the author of the Indiana Lifeline Law, which was enacted in 2012 as a result of lobbying by student leaders at IU Bloomington and other Indiana universities. Zoeller, as attorney general, is the state’s chief legal enforcement officer.
Sponsors of Make the Call Day include the IU Student Association and its Culture of Care initiative and the Indiana Memorial Union Board. IU Health and OASIS, the alcohol and drug-prevention education and intervention program of the IU Bloomington Division of Student Affairs, will be present in support.
The Indiana Lifeline Law prevents minors from being prosecuted for crimes such as minor in possession or public intoxication if they request medical attention for another person and cooperate with police. The law does not apply to some other offenses, including drunken driving, providing alcohol to a minor or drug possession. The law encourages young Hoosiers to act and parallels the Culture of Care initiative’s mission of bystander intervention.