As college students you have probably heard of stories where people have taken a night out a little too far. Whether it is drinking to the point of alcohol poisoning or suffering an injury while under the influence (or both!), not so good things have the potential to happen when alcohol is in the picture.

It doesn’t seem like a big deal to someone over the age of 21. If someone pushes it too far on a night out you can always call 911 and get them some help. What happens if you are all underage? You think to yourself: Should I call 911 for them and incriminate myself? Or should I just look the other way?

Well… neither.

PA law protects you from being charged with an underage alcohol-related offense if you are trying to help out someone in need of medical attention.

There are four conditions you need to follow to receive medical amnesty:

  1. You place a call for help (911, campus safety, police or other emergency services) for someone who needs it.
  2. You reasonably think that you are the first person to do so in order to prevent serious injury or death of that person.
  3. You provide your own name to the call taker.
  4. You remain with the person in need of help until medical assistance arrives and your need to be there has ended.

If you want to read the official wording, visit the state’s website here and go down to Chapter 63: Section 6308- Subsection (f).

Still confused? Ask the Office of Alcohol, Tobacco, or Other Drugs staff or Public Safety!

Written by Andrew Chinofsky, Peer Educator