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Indiana state Senator Jim Merritt today announced his lifeline law to combat underage drinking and alcohol-related emergency room visits on college campuses.

When young people begin college, they are given newfound freedoms. But those freedoms come along with new risks, including the temptation to abuse alcohol. Today, about 40 percent of college students binge drink.

Indiana’s Lifeline Law provides legal protections to minors under the influence of alcohol who call to report a medical emergency or a crime. When someone is facing an emergency, we don’t want fear of prosecution to stop those around them from doing the right thing.

For college students who are engaging in risky practices like partying prior to sporting events or popular social media drinking games, this is critically important.

It is imperative for students and parents to know about the Lifeline Law and the steps they can take to save a life. Today, Indiana launched a new, widespread outreach initiative dedicated to informing students and parents about the Lifeline Law through the internet and radio.

Students in Indiana accessing the internet through their college or university will now receive information about the Lifeline Law on Facebook, YouTube and Pandora. The messaging will occur through triangulation between cell towers, creating a digital dome over the geography of a campus.

The following campuses will receive 2 million impressions during the first three weeks of school:

  • Indiana University
  • Ball State University
  • Purdue University
  • Indiana State University
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
  • University of Evansville
  • DePauw University
  • Indiana Wesleyan University
  • University of Southern Indiana
  • Butler University
  • Wabash College
  • Trine University

There will also be a series of statewide radio advertisements featuring testimonials from parents who lost a child from the effects of binge drinking.

More than 100,000 Lifeline messages have also been distributed and used in Indiana’s package liquor stores.

I am very thankful for Big Red Liquors, the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers, the Indiana Youth Services Association, the Foundation For Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, Monarch Beverage Company, the Kroger Company, Walmart and the Wine and Spirits Distributors of Indiana who have come together to raise $40,000 making this much-needed outreach program a reality for college campuses in the state of Indiana.

By working together, we can help spread the Lifeline message, “Make the call; Save a life,” to students and parents across the state.

Authored by Indiana State Senator Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis), Author of Indiana's Lifeline Law

*The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility or any Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility member.*