Pennsylvania Good Samaritan Law

Penn State is consistently recognized as one of the top party schools in the country and alcohol consumption is a consistent part of college life at State College. However, sometimes students drink too much, and friends resist calling for help due to concerns about being cited with an underage drinking violation. But what people do not always know is that Pennsylvania Good Samaritan laws make exceptions for people who call to seek medical assistance for someone experiencing alcohol poisoning.

Firstly, a Good Samaritan exception is written into laws in order to get you to call for help. If a friend or someone at a party has had too much to drink, please contact emergency medical services to get that person assistance. Underage drinking is often considered just good fun, but people can die from alcohol poisoning and seeking appropriate medical assistance can be absolutely critical to saving a life. 

In order to qualify for amnesty, the following requirements must be followed.

  • The only way law enforcement officers became aware of the person’s violation is because the person placed a 911 call, or a call to campus safety, police or emergency services, in good faith, based on a reasonable belief and reported that another person was in need of immediate medical attention to prevent death or serious injury.

  • The person calling reasonably believed he or she was the first person to call for help.

  • The person calling has provided her or her own name to the 911 operator or equivalent campus safety, police or emergency officer.

  • The person calling remained with the person needing medical assistance until emergency health care providers arrived and the need for their presence had ended.

Penn State calls this policy its Responsible Action Protocol, and holds the same requirements called for by Pennsylvania law in order to receive amnesty from University disciplinary actions. This means Penn State will not prosecute students for their own alcohol violations if they are discovered through calling to seek medical assistance for a friend or another student. Any students calling the police or emergency services will be required to attend BASICS, PSU’s alcohol education class and the fee will be waived. 

If you or a friend has been charged with an underage drinking or a related offense as a result of calling for help for a person with alcohol poisoning, contact Edelstein Law, LLP today!