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An overview of Indiana’s “Lifeline Law”

On Behalf of | Oct 3, 2018 | Criminal Defense |

There are some instances when a person in Indiana becomes intoxicated, but then finds themselves in a situation in which either another person is facing a medical emergency, in which they have witnessed a possible crime or in which they are the victim of a sex crime. In these situations, the intoxicated person may want to call the police, but they may be afraid that, because they are intoxicated, they may be charged with a certain alcohol offense if they call for help.

However, Indiana has a “Lifeline Law” to protect people in such situations. Through the state’s lifeline law, a person who has committed the crime of being publicly intoxicated, is a minor in possession of alcohol or is a minor who has consumed alcohol, can still contact the authorities when seeking help for another person who is in the throes of an alcohol-related health emergency.

To fall under the lifeline law, a person must act in good faith by meeting certain conditions. They must give the authorities their entire name and any other necessary information. They must stay at the scene of the incident until the authorities dismiss them. Finally, they must cooperate with the authorities.

Keep in mind that not all crimes fall under the lifeline law. Crimes such as giving minors alcohol, drunk driving offenses or possessing a controlled substance are not covered by the lifeline law. Still, the lifeline law provides a means for allowing someone who is intoxicated to act as a Good Samaritan without having to fear that they themselves will be arrested for doing so, if their alleged alcohol-related crimes fall under the lifeline law. Ultimately, the lifeline law benefits both the Good Samaritan and the public alike.

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