Nebraska immunity bill aimed at underage drinkers passes

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Underage drinkers who seek medical help for alcohol poisoning could avoid alcohol charges under a bill passed by Nebraska lawmakers.

The measure won final approval Thursday in the Legislature, 44-0.

The proposal by Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln would give limited legal immunity to underage drinkers who are intoxicated, call for medical assistance and cooperate with authorities. Immunity would only apply to alcohol charges.

Morfeld has said the bill is designed to encourage underage drinkers to seek medical attention when their lives are at risk without having to fear a criminal conviction. The proposal is backed by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, student leaders and Lincoln police.

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