Medical Amnesty

What is Medical Amnesty?

On April 4, 2013, Kentucky joined sixteen other states be enacting a Medical Amnesty Law. This new law grants immunity from prosecution for certain alcohol related offenses when an individual requests medical assistance for him/her self or someone else do to alcohol over consumption or acts along with another person in requesting emergency medical assistance.

Download Medical Amnesty in Kentucky Fact Sheet
Download 2013 KY General Assembly SB-13 Fact Sheet

Why grant Medical Amnesty?

Unintentional alcohol-related injuries are the leading cause of death for young people in the U.S. In 2009, nearly 1 in 4 KY high school students reported consuming five or more drinks in a row (binge drinking) in the past 30-days putting them at risk for alcohol poisoning and potentially fatal consequences (CDC 2011)

People may not seek medical assistance in alcohol poisoning situations for fear of arrest or police involvement (Cornell University 2002)). Medical Amnesty removes the barriers to calling 911.

KY Law protects you when you ‘DO THE RIGHT THING’ in an alcohol emergency

Medical Amnesty requires a person to:

Provide his or her full name and all other relevant information requested by emergency medical personnel or law enforcement; Remain with the individual needing medical assistance until professional medical assistance is provided; Cooperate with emergency personnel and law enforcement officers.

A person who meets the above qualifications shall be protected from the following criminal offenses:

  • a) Alcohol intoxication under KRS 222.202(1);
  • b) Drinking alcoholic beverages in a public place under KRS 222.202(2);
  • c) Offenses related to possession of alcoholic beverages by a minor under 21 years of age under KRS 244.085;
  • d) Providing alcohol to minors under 21 years of age or assisting minors under 21 years of age to purchase alcohol under KRS 244.085 or 530.070