The goal is to save lives, but some say the Good Samaritan bill would only give underage drinkers permission to binge drink.
Senate Bill 132 is aimed at giving South Dakota teens immunity for calling 911 when a friend needs help after a night of drinking.
The measure's sparked a lot of debate and has student support on two South Dakota campuses. But Twitter feeds from those same schools may be partly to blame for its failure. Less than 24 hours after a story aired on KELOLAND News highlighting one of those accounts, the House Judiciary committee voted seven to six to kill the bill.
The so-called Good Samaritan bill would have allowed underage drinkers to avoid a misdemeanor if they called for help if their friend is suffering from the affects of alcohol poisoning or another emergency.
You may think Rapid City mother Nancy Kueter, who lost her son to a prescription drug overdose, would support a Good Samaritan bill. She does not.
"Some of you have asked me if this law was in place before this happened, if they would have called. And from my experience with these criminals that did this to my son, I don't think they would cooperate with law enforcement," Kueter said.
Kueter says the friends who were with her son made up lies and never called authorities while he was dying. She doesn't think any law would have changed that.
"A true friend will call for help no matter what," Kueter said.
Several members of law enforcement agreed with her, saying a bill allowing teens to avoid prosecution for underage drinking by calling 911 when a friend is in trouble only encourages bad behavior.
"This bill could just as well be called the, Binge drink and I'll call for help so I can get off bill,'" Turner County Sheriff Byron Nogelmeier said.
Both opponents and supporters of the law referred to a KELOLAND News story on Twitter feeds at the University of South Dakota and South Dakota State University that show passed out students as examples of why the law is needed and what type of behavior they think the law would encourage.
The Presidents of both student bodies support the legislation saying it's aimed at saving lives.
"To me, it makes much more sense to save a life on the forefront and assign a crime afterwards than to put a student's life at risk for the sake of the law," USD Student Body President Alissa VanMeeteren said.
But lawmakers ultimately agreed with law enforcement by rejecting the bill.
"If they go out and they get so drunk that they are lying on the floor and convulsing and choking on their own vomit that they'll be able to have their friend call the cops. I don't want to support that kind of behavior," Rep. Jon Hansen of Dell Rapids said.
Prosecutors also testified saying that they already have the latitude to drop underage drinking charges depending on the circumstances of the case.