"Good Samaritans" will not be punished for reporting underage drinking overdoses | News

"Good Samaritans" will not be punished for reporting underage drinking overdoses

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Creative Commons License - PHOTO CREDIT: TOM ROELEVELD
  • Photo credit: Tom Roeleveld
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Amendments to North Carolina's Good Samaritan Law—S.L. 2015-94—have been enacted to offer protection for underage drinkers and their friends who call 911 to report alcohol poisoning.

Beginning Aug. 1, the victim of alcohol poisoning as well as the 911 caller will be protected from underage drinking prosecution if they call for help.

The Good Samaritan Law was established in 2013 to combat rising drug-overdose deaths.

The amendments also ensure that people seeking help for a drug overdose will not be subject to arrest or revocation of conditions of probation or parole. 

Also beginning Aug. 1, any person who calls 911 to report a drug overdose will need to provide their name the dispatcher in order to qualify for limited immunity from drug prosecution. 

The law does not apply to 911 calls made during the execution of search warrants. 

The law is supported by the NC Sheriffs' Association, the NC Association of Chiefs of Police, and the NC Harm Reduction Coalition, which lobbied for the Good Samaritan Law.

As of this year, 599 people in North Carolina have been saved from a drug overdose as a result of the law, according tot he Harm Reduction Coalition. 

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