University to vote on alcohol amnesty after student death

ORLANDO, FL (WESH/NBC) - Students at the University of Central Florida will soon vote on an alcohol amnesty policy just one month after a freshman died on campus.

The policy, which goes up for a vote this week, would prevent students from getting into trouble with the university when reporting an alcohol-related emergency.

"You'll get overly intoxicated people and their friends, they're not sure whether to call for an ambulance or 911 or not, in fear for themselves and their friends getting kicked out of school," said one UCF student.

Under the policy, if a student contacted authorities, they could still face sanctions that would require participating in alcohol education classes.

Freshman Ann Marie Hefferin died after attending a fraternity party where alcohol was served. Her official cause of death is still unknown and it's unclear if her death was alcohol related.

According to the National Institute of Health, hospitalizations for college-aged men and women rose 25 percent from 1999 to 2008. Binge drinking was linked to 29,000 hospitalizations in 2008.

Several Florida schools already have similar policies in place.

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