Good Samaritan alcohol law has potential to save lives


Issue: SDSU’s Students’ Association passed a resolution in support of a state Good Samaritan alcohol law, which would exempt individuals under 21 years old from criminal prosecution if they contact law enforcement for another individual in need of medical attention.

Many college students under the age of 21 drink alcoholic beverages. It’s illegal. It’s unavoidable. It’s also dangerous when done recklessly.

More than 1,700 students ages 18-24 die from alcohol related causes each year, according to

Alcohol poisoning is deadly, and it is feared that individuals under 21 are hesitant to call emergency responders for a friend in need of medical attention because they are afraid of the legal consequences.

A Good Samaritan alcohol law exempts underage individuals who have been drinking from prosecution if they call for help. The Collegian supports such a law.

Good Samaritan alcohol laws encourage individuals to do the right thing and could be the difference between someone living a long, full life or dying tragically at the age of 18.

And while it’s incredibly selfish that a person would let another individual die because of his or her own unwillingness to take responsibility for their own actions, this scenario is real.

Some may be concerned such a law only encourages more drinking and is counter-productive in stopping underage drinking. We couldn’t disagree more. We highly doubt anyone will look at this law and decide to go binge drinking. Not many rational students see this as a free pass to drink.

And while this law will not stop underage drinking, it will stop one thing: the untimely death of someone’s child. Being realistic and passing a Good Samaritan alcohol law will save lives.

Stance: We support SA’s efforts in lobbying South Dakota State Legislature into passing a realistic, life-saving Good Samaritan alcohol state law.

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Tony Gorder


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