House of Representatives Passes "Good Samaritan" Bill

The Good Samaritan Bill, introduced by State Sen. Liz Brater (D-Ann Arbor), exempts underage drinkers who call for emergency help from being charged with Minor in Possession (MIP).

The bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives in October, now moves forward to the state senate.

Brater introduced the bill in response to a growing trend. Minors (people under the age of 21) have not been calling for help or 911 during an emergency situation out of fear they will be charged with MIP. The bill essentially “amends the Michigan Liquor Control Code and guarantees that intoxicated minors will not receive an MIP charge for bringing a friend to the hospital in the event of an emergency,” as was reported by the Michigan Daily.

Supporters of the bill agree that upholding the law should not be given priority over the health and safety of an individual. Many of these supporters believe that the fact that a minor might jeopardize his or her health because they are too scared to report a medical emergency is reason enough to pass the bill right away.

Of course the bill has been met with some opposition. Diane Brown, spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Public Safety, has expressed her concerns. She said that the threat of receiving MIP should not prevent someone from doing the right thing, which would be to call for help in an emergency situation.

Unfortunately, the reality is different. Many students have refrained from seeking medical attention or help, even though they needed it, solely because they do not want to deal with the consequences of MIP charges: fines, probation, possible driver’s license suspensions, and multiple court appearances— all of which can have a negative impact on a student’s jobs, classes, and extracurricular activities.

Charged with Minor in Possession? Interested in learning more about this topic? Contact a Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney for experienced and aggressive representation in Oakland County and Wayne County!