Panel OKs bill on underage drinking, sentencing

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Minors who call authorities when another underage drinker needs medical help could get leniency in sentencing under a bill approved by a Utah Senate committee.House Bill 277 was introduced by Salt Lake City Democratic Rep. Christine Johnson.Johnson says the bill is intended to prevent situations like the one that killed Michael Starks, the Utah State University freshman who died from alcohol poisoning during a hazing incident in 2008.She says his death might have been avoided if other participants had not been afraid to call the police.The bill was approved by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Monday. It now goes to the full Senate.

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