(News Release) - TABC wants all students, no matter where they are enjoying their break, to keep an eye on each other and make sure everyone gets home safely. Last September, a new law went into effect in Texas, providing limited immunity to young people who call for help because someone might have alcohol poisoning. Since this is the first spring break since the 911 Lifeline Legislation went into effect, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) wants to remind everyone that this law exists.
In the event of possible alcohol poisoning, the law states that a person under 21 calling for help will not be cited for possessing or consuming alcohol. The immunity for minors is limited to the first person who calls for help, if he or she stays on the scene and cooperates with law enforcement and medical personnel. The 911 Lifeline Law does not protect a person from being cited for any other violation.
In 2009, TABC enacted a similar internal policy following the death of 18-year-old Austinite Carson Starkey. Carson died of alcohol overdose during his first semester of college following a fraternity hazing incident. Under the new 911 Lifeline law, youth who do the right thing are protected, regardless of which law enforcement agency responds to the 911 call. TABC hopes that the 911 Lifeline Law will help students in a similar situation to make the right decision to save someone's life.
TABC Administrator Alan Steen said, "It's important to know the signs of alcohol poisoning. If a person is unconscious or unresponsive, it is a medical emergency." He added, "We hope that while students enjoy themselves during spring break, they also look out for one another. Underage drinking is illegal and dangerous. But regardless of how you end up in a situation, if a person needs medical attention, we urge you to do the right thing and call for help."