Minnesota Considering “Medical Amnesty” Bill For Underage Drinkers


In Minnesota legislators are considering a bill that would waive legal consequences for underage drinkers in medical emergencies, the idea being that underage drinkers who go to success might forgo needed medical attention out of fear of getting arrested.

Minnesota (WDAY TV) — A Minnesota bill that passed through two legislative committees would protect underage drinkers from prosecution in a medical emergency.

The so-called “medical amnesty” bill aims to remove barriers to highly-needed medical attention for things like alcohol poisoning. …

It waives legal punishment if a minor who has been drinking needs to call for emergency medical service. …

A Minor in Consumption is a misdemeanor in Minnesota, and the consequences could be up to 90 days in jail or a 1000-dollar fine. For high school and college students, it could also cost a scholarship or extracurricular participation. So, there is a lot to consider, and any hesitation could be critical.

This is a good idea, as far as it goes, but it’s addressing a symptom of the root problem. What’s driving a lot of underage drinking, especially drinking to excess, is the prohibition on underage drinking itself. By making underage drinking illegal we’ve created a taboo that teens enjoy breaking.

It runs contrary to how many people thinking of this issue, but the solution is to get rid of the taboo. Make underage drinking legal. Let parents teach their kids how to deal with alcohol responsibly. Not all parents will do a good job of it, of course, but as the law stands right now parents have little leeway in this area at all.

In fact, here in North Dakota legislation has advanced to make the penalties for parents providing alcohol to their kids even stiffer.

While Minnesota is loosening their prohibition on underage drinking in the hope of saving some lives, here in North Dakota we’re doubling down on bad policy.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • doobybro

    zimmerman was lying but you believe him and take his statements as gospel. i saw today the inconsistancies in his testimony

    • slackwarerobert

      Prosecution rested already? Or is he a witness for them as well, all the others keep testifying that he acted properly.
      I don’t take his word as gospel, I take every ones word that all say the same thing. only one saying something different is the family of the thug, and they did not see it. All the third parties are giving the same story, in texas that gets you on the fast lane to the chair when you are guilty.

      • doobybro

        i wish i could place a wager but well see if zimmerman wins .then i’ll kow tow but not before. i heard testimony that suggests differently . the M F is lyin thru his teeth

        • slackwarerobert

          See, you have it backwards, they need to prove it wasn’t self defense. And when everyone from the investigator on down to the people in their homes say it was, I don’t see how you can say otherwise. The alternative is he is a master criminal the likes of lex luthor to have set up such a perfect crime. And to pull it off with no help , he should be hired to go after al queda. Unless you think all the neighbors are in on it as well, and planned their 911 calls. Maybe they even moved trayvon’s house so he got lost and couldn’t find it.

          • doobybro

            wheres was the bushes he was hiding behind? google maps dont show any. the med. examimer said zim wounds were inconsistent with zim. testimony . how come zim was lookin for an address when you could see 1211 on the house.? howd martins arms get under him ?how come martins hands were not bruised from punchin him ? howd martin see the gun in the dark.so many lies so little time. open your eyes