Panel approves underage drinking immunity bill

Posted at 4:26 PM, Mar 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-01 18:27:22-05

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- A bill that offers limited immunity to underage people who call for medical help during alcohol-related illnesses garnered unanimous support from an Idaho House committee Tuesday.

House Bill 521 shields people under the age of 21 from consumption or minor-in-possession charges if they seek medical treatment for themselves or other people in cases of alcohol-related illnesses.

Nate Fisher, University of Idaho's student lobbyist and former student body president, says 32 states have already passed similar legislation and 10 more are considering the change this year.

Several House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee members voiced their support of the bill, but warned against binge drinking.

However, Fisher says binge drinking rates have decreased in states where similar legislation has passed.

The measure now moves to the House floor.