Illinois bill would pardon underage drinkers who call 911 for overdrinking

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois lawmakers are considering a bill that would grant amnesty to underage drinkers who call 9-1-1 for help.

The House passed the measure, sending it to the Senate.

Under the bill, police officers would also have the discretion to determine whether amnesty is appropriate after responding to a call. Two dozen other states have similar laws.

From 2008 through 2012, the most recent years statistics were available, there were nine alcohol-induced deaths in Illinois of people under 21, the Illinois Department of Public Health said. Those were alcohol overdose cases only, and the numbers do not include deaths in which alcohol was a contributing factor, such as in fatal car crashes.

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