PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A legislative committee has approved a measure that would protect underage drinkers from facing some criminal penalties during medical emergencies.

The committee passed the bill Wednesday to the House floor.

It says that someone can't be prosecuted for crimes such as underage consumption if they help during an emergency and report it. The immunity would apply to someone who reports their own emergency.

The panel approved a similar measure for drug overdoses that would protect against misdemeanor-level crimes. Felony immunity was removed from the plan.

Sponsor Representative Scott Munsterman says there will likely be an amendment to add felony offenses back in.

Advocates including health officials say the proposals would save lives. Opponents from law enforcement argue South Dakotans should simply do the right thing during emergencies.

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