Texas youth can report alcohol overdoses or other problems without fear of being charged with underage drinking under a new policy announced by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC).
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Dec. 2 that the state commission announced the amnesty policy — which applies to reports of sexual assault and other violent crime as well as medical emergencies involving alcohol — as a tribute to an Austin 18-year-old who died last year in a college fraternity hazing ritual.
Carson Starkey, a Cal Poly State University student, passed out after drinking a bottle of Everclear, but his fraternity brothers didn't call for help before Starkey was fatally stricken. “It is our hope that publicizing this policy will encourage young people to call 911 if a friend is in danger from alcohol poisoning or any other medical emergency,” said TABC administrator Alan Steen. “We don't want any life to be lost because someone is afraid of getting in trouble for underage drinking.”
“For a young person, nothing could be worse than living with the memory of a friend who died because you were afraid to make a phone call,” Steen added. “I urge young people to be a good friend. Don't leave an unconscious person alone, and don't be afraid to call 911.”