Alcohol poisoning and drug overdose are serious and life-threatening medical emergencies. Students may encounter this type of emergency during their time at UT. Sometimes students are afraid to seek emergency medical care when alcohol poisoning or drug overdose is suspected because they do not want to get themselves or others in trouble. The Student Amnesty for Alcohol and Drug Emergencies policy is designed to empower students to prevent high-risk behavior by seeking help for fellow students who are experiencing a medical emergency due to drug or alcohol consumption.
A student should seek help immediately if they are concerned about someone experiencing a medical emergency.
What is Student Amnesty for Alcohol and Drug Emergencies?
Amnesty means current UT students can avoid formal University disciplinary action when they seek emergency medical assistance for themselves or others experiencing a medical emergency due to drug or alcohol consumption. Students who are granted amnesty may still receive communication and resources from departments on campus to support their well-being and reduce risk in the future.
Who is amnesty for?
Amnesty may be granted to the UT student(s) calling for help, as well as the student who is experiencing the medical emergency. Amnesty may be granted if the student seeking help:
Who grants amnesty?
Student Conduct and Academic Integrity evaluates if a student is eligible for amnesty when they are referred for alcohol- and drug-related incidents. Learn more about UT's alcohol policies.
How does it work?
CALL: Call 911 or emergency personnel immediately when you see the signs of alcohol poisoning or drug overdose.
STAY: Stay with the person.
HELP: Gently turn the person on their side to facilitate breathing and avoid choking should the person vomit.
ANSWER: Cooperate with all emergency personnel.
AFTER THE INCIDENT:
What should I do in an alcohol medical emergency?
What should I do in the case of a drug overdose?
Student Amnesty for Alcohol and Drug Emergencies applies in the case of the following:
Texas Amnesty Law
The University's policy is separate from the state amnesty policy, Senate Bill 1331 (Texas 911 Lifeline legislation), which provides amnesty against criminal citations for those seeking medical attention as the result of an illegal action, such as minor in consumption or possession of alcohol by a minor. Student Amnesty for Alcohol and Drug Emergencies provides protection against formal disciplinary action by the University for both alcohol- and drug-related incidences, whereas the Texas 911 Lifeline legislation provides protection against legal action in relation only to alcohol-related incidences.
This means that if you are granted amnesty from the university for a drug-related medical emergency not involving alcohol, you may not receive protection from disciplinary action from the state of Texas.
The University of Texas at Austin’s Amnesty Policy can apply when a UT Austin student is found using alcohol or other substances, is having a medical emergency and is reported to the University of Texas at Austin for potential disciplinary action. It will also apply in the case that the caller believes there is a medical emergency occurring.
The University of Texas at Austin’s Amnesty Policy applies to current UT Austin students; the state of Texas has different amnesty laws that apply off-campus to anyone in Austin. Amnesty for UT Austin students only applies if an incident has been reported to the university. If an incident occurs off-campus, the state of Texas’ 911 Lifeline Law may apply. This law only applies in the case of alcohol use by individuals under the age of 21, and only applies to the first person to call for medical assistance.
The University of Texas at Austin’s Amnesty Policy applies in the case of all substance use. The state of Texas’ 911 Lifeline Law only applies in the case of alcohol use by individuals under the age of 21, and only applies to the first person to call for medical assistance.
No, the amnesty policy cannot be applied to student organizations. Amnesty is applied on an individual case-by-case basis.
If amnesty has been granted, a student will not face any formal disciplinary action from the university – however, the student may be asked to complete educational programs and may be referred for individual drug and/or alcohol counseling.
No, being granted medical amnesty from the University of Texas at Austin does not protect you from any legal consequences you may face while interacting with law enforcement. Medical amnesty granted by UT Austin protects you from formal disciplinary action by the university. However, if you meet the criteria of the Texas 911 Lifeline Law, you may receive amnesty from criminal citations.
Amnesty will likely be applied regarding an alcohol or drug violation. It will not be applied to other violations that occur simultaneously to the alcohol or drug violation.
If a student is granted amnesty and completes the educational program, the student will not have a disciplinary record for the incident. The University will maintain a non-reportable record of the incident.
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