BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Football fans and alumni have begun arriving in town for this weekend's football game and Indiana University's homecoming. Police have already started upping their presences around campus and town, and are reminding people about the state's lifeline law, which could save someone's life.
Indiana's Lifeline Law prohibits criminal prosecution for underage drinking and other related offenses when the person, usually a college-aged student, reports a medical emergency to the police, stays with the person in need and cooperates with authorities.
“The Lifeline Law is there to encourage people to act or take care of their friends and people they come across, to report crimes, and not fear being arrested because they’ve been drinking or in possession of alcohol," said Captain Craig Munroe of the Indiana University Police Department.
In August, some state leaders behind the law started a fall campaign featuring new ads on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. The campaign encourages incoming and returning college students throughout Indiana to text or call 911, stay and cooperate when someone is in need of medical attention due to alcohol consumption.
The campaign began on August 17 and ends on November 22.
Details of the campaign, including samples of the campaign’s artwork and message, were shared at a media event Friday on the Solarium at Indiana Memorial Union. The ad, made for the Indiana Youth Service Association's Make Good Decisions program, is a 10-second video of former Indianapolis Colts' punter Pat McAfee, who encourages students to use the law.
Munroe said he has seen the law used on campus and saved someone's life. Leaders behind Friday's event said the law has saved 41 lives since going into effect.
The law also provides amnesty for a caller who reports a crime. Sexual assault victims will also be free from facing drinking charges.
"A victim of a sexual assault should not be afraid to call police and report that assault because they’ve been drinking," Munroe said.