Know Your Rights: Medical Amnesty

Courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee from
Courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee from

This is going to be an unusual “Know Your Rights” because I am going to share a personal story.

Last Halloween at about 10:30 pm, my friends and I were about to go to a party. When we walked outside, we noticed someone lying face down on the sidewalk.

He was so still I thought it was decoration, but it wasn’t. We walked up to him and noticed he was bleeding from his ears and knees. He was extremely intoxicated and couldn’t tell us his name or number.

My friends and I ended up taking him back to the living room, tried to stop the bleeding and called an ambulance.

At some point, he started to understand what was going on and beg us not to call for help. He was afraid he was going to get in trouble for underage drinking.

We told him Michigan has medical amnesty law, which shields people from criminal persecution for underage drinking if they seek medical treatment. It also protects people who consumed alcohol and accompanied someone to seek medical treatment.

It should also be noted that includes people seeking medical treatment for a sexual assault. CMU’s sexual misconduct policy also protects victims who were drinking.

My friends and I don’t know what happened to the man after the ambulance took him to the hospital. However, we are sure he didn’t get in trouble.

Take care of each other. Make sure you and your friends are here for classes on Monday. Learn the signs of alcohol poisoning and please ask help if you need it.

If you plan on hosting or attending a party, you may want to refresh yourself on your legal rights.

Have a fun Halloween, but be safe.

Arielle Hines is the editor of CMU Insider. You can contact her at 

This is not intended to serve as official legal advice. Please contact an attorney if you need legal assistance. 

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