Spin Control

WA Lege Day 57: Alcohol poisoning bill passes House

OLYMPIA -- Teen-agers who call to report a possible alcohol-related poisoning would be immune from prosecution for possessing alcohol under a bill approved today by the House.

Despite objections from some Republicans that the bill was sending the wrong message for illegal underage drinking, HB 1166 passed by a  mostly party-line 57-39 vote

Democrats said it doesn't encourage drinking, it merely encourages someone to call for help when a friend is in danger of dying from an alcohol overdose.

"This is not a blanket exemption...it's for one person to make a phone call," Sen. Christopher Hurst, a former police officer said.

But Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, said people should be willing to save another's life, regardless of the consequences: "Where have we come to in this state if that's the way we treat our fellow human beings...that human life isn't worth what we think it is?"




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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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