Oklahoma Senate bill that would protect drinking minors advances to House

OKLAHOMA CITY - The state Senate has unanimously approved a bill that aims to save the lives of young binge drinkers.

The bill's author, Sen. Cliff Branan, R-Oklahoma City, says drinking minors are often afraid to call for help because they don't want to get in trouble. If Senate Bill 1 becomes law, those who help their friends won't face prosecution.

SEE THE BILL (http://bit.ly/YPJKx7)

In 2005, Nedra Babcock's 18-year-old adopted son went to a party with friends, and became violently ill and passed out after a night of drinking and prescription medication. But no one called 911.

"They were afraid that they were going to get in trouble," Babcock said. "... They thought about just rolling him up in a sheet and putting him a ditch."

Someone at the apartment eventually called 911, but by the time Dustin was transported to the hospital it was too late. 

Which is why Babcock thinks Branan's bill is so important. 

"... How many lives could be saved by that?" she said. "People are just scared of getting into trouble. If they could get a pass for trying to help save a friend, then they need to pass this bill."

Now that the bill has passed the Senate, it's on its way to a House committee.

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