Medical Amnesty Policy
Tarleton State University’s Medical Amnesty policy as outlines in Sections 7.1-7.3 of the Code of Student Conduct.
7.1. Medical Amnesty. Medical Amnesty for Alcohol Emergencies:
7.1.1 Tarleton State University encourages all students to be active bystanders whenever an emergency arises. This means taking responsible action by noticing the situation, providing assistance, and activating appropriate help. This also means working to prevent emergencies by choosing to conduct yourself responsibly and encouraging your fellow students to do the same.
Emergencies include but are not limited to:
- Alcohol overdose or adverse reactions
- Alcohol-related sexual assault or violence
- Alcohol-related injuries
7.1.2 Alcohol poisoning is a serious and life threatening medical emergency that results from drinking a harmful amount of alcohol. Both students who choose to drink and those who choose not to drink may encounter alcohol emergencies during their time at Tarleton.
Signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning may include:
- Mental Confusion
- Snoring/Gasping for Air
- Throwing Up
- Erratic Breathing
- Loss of Consciousness
- Paleness/Blueness of skin
7.1.3 Appropriate Action expected but not limited to:
- Call 911 on campus or off campus (even if you’re not sure).
- Stay with the person and cooperate with all emergency personnel.
What to expect?
- Students will be referred to Office of Student Judicial Affairs to be evaluated for amnesty.
- Students eligible for amnesty, who decline or fail to complete a related alcohol education program, will become subject to formal disciplinary action. Educational sanctions may include AOD assessment, treatment, and educational components.
7.1.4 This policy, in congruence with the state amnesty policy Texas 911 Lifeline Law (S.B. 1331), provides amnesty for minor conduct offenses in order to encourage students to seek help during alcohol related emergencies. The Medical Amnesty provides protection against formal disciplinary action by the University, whereas, the state law provides protection against legal action.
Amnesty applies to the following conduct charges:
- Possession of alcohol by a minor
- Unauthorized possession or use of alcohol by a minor
- Consumption of alcohol by a minor
- Intoxication as a result of using alcohol
- Amnesty does not apply to more serious offenses (e.g., hazing, physical or sexual assaults, harassment, vandalism, providing alcohol to minors, fake-ID’s
- Amnesty may not be provided in the case of repeated incidents.
Who is it for?
Amnesty may be granted to the student(s) calling for help, as well as to the student experiencing the alcohol emergency.
- For those in need of assistance
- For those that offer assistance
Not for student organizations and groups affiliated with events, such as parties, at which an incidence occurs.
7.1.5 There are limitations to this program and amnesty is not automatic. Whether or not you receive amnesty is under the discretion of the Office of Student Judicial Affairs. If abuse of the medical amnesty policy is suspected you may be subject to judicial sanctions.
Medical Amnesty Policy
7.2 For Those In Need of Assistance:
Tarleton provides amnesty to students who may be hesitant to report to University officials because they fear that they themselves may be accused of minor policy violations, such as underage drinking at the time of the incident. Educational options will be explored, but no conduct proceedings or conduct record will result.
7.3 For Those Who Offer Assistance:
To encourage students to offer help and assistance to others, Tarleton pursues a policy of amnesty for minor violations when students offer help to others in need. At the discretion of the Student Affairs Conduct Officer or designee, amnesty may also be extended on a case-by-case basis to the person receiving assistance. Educational options will be explored, but no conduct proceedings or conduct record will result.
Abuse of amnesty requests can result in a decision by the Student Affairs Conduct Officer not to extend amnesty to the same person repeatedly.
Alcohol poisoning signs and symptoms include:
- Slow breathing (less than eight breaths a minute)
- Irregular breathing (a gap of more than 10 seconds between breaths)
- Blue-tinged skin or pale skin
- Low body temperature (hypothermia)
- Passing out (unconsciousness) and can’t be awakened
It's not necessary to have all these signs and symptoms before you seek help. A person who is unconscious or can't be awakened is at risk of dying.
Source: Alcohol Poisoning by Mayo Clinic
Know the Signs:
The Signs of Alcohol Poisoning
If you suspect that someone has alcohol poisoning, even if you don’t see the classic signs and symptoms, seek immediate medical care. In an emergency, follow these suggestions :
- If the person is unconscious, breathing less than eight times a minute or has repeated, uncontrolled vomiting, call 911 immediately. Keep in mind that even when someone is unconscious or has stopped drinking, alcohol continues to be released into the bloodstream and the level of alcohol in the body continues to rise. Never assume that a person will “sleep off” alcohol poisoning.
- If the person is conscious, call 800-222-1222 (in the U.S.) and you’ll automatically be routed to your local poison control center. The staff at the poison control center or emergency call center can instruct you as to whether you should take the person directly to a hospital. All calls to poison control centers are confidential.
- Be prepared to provide information. If you know, be sure to tell hospital or emergency personnel the kind and amount of alcohol the person drank and when. Don’t leave an unconscious person alone. While waiting for help, don’t try to make the person vomit.
- Alcohol poisoning affects the way your gag reflex works. That means someone with alcohol poisoning may choke on his or her own vomit or accidentally inhale (aspirate) vomit into the lungs which could cause a fatal lung injury.