Good Samaritan Emergency Response Act Information

DRAFT “GOOD SAMARITAN EMERGENCY RESPONSE ACT”

Synopsis: Immunity for responding to drug or alcohol overdose. Decriminalizes certain offenses for a person who seeks health care for someone reasonably believed to be experiencing a
drug or alcohol-related overdose, including himself or herself, and for the person experiencing the overdose; permits as a mitigating factor in criminal prosecutions for other drug and alcohol-related offenses the seeking of health care for an overdose victim.

A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning criminal law.

BE IT ENACTED by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:

Section 1. IC 35-48-4-18 is added to the Indiana Code as a new section to read as follows:

35-48-4-18. Immunity for persons who seek medical assistance for a drug or alcohol overdose.

Sec. 18. (a) The following definitions apply throughout this section:

(1) “Controlled substance” has the same meaning set forth in Ind. Code Ann. § 35-48-1-9.

(2) “Drug or alcohol overdose” or “overdose” means an acute condition including, but not limited to, physical illness, coma, mania, hysteria or death, which is the result of consumption or use of a controlled substance or alcohol and relates to an adverse reaction to or the quantity of the controlled substance or alcohol or a substance with which the controlled substance or alcohol was combined, and that a layperson would reasonably believe to be a drug or alcohol overdose that requires medical assistance.

(3) “Sharing” means delivery or transfer of a controlled substance without receiving any consideration or compensation.

(4) “Seeks medical assistance” shall include, but is not limited to, reporting a drug or alcohol overdose or other medical emergency to law enforcement, the 9-1-1 system, a poison control center, or to a medical provider, assisting someone so reporting, or providing care to someone who is experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose or other medical emergency while awaiting the arrival of medical assistance.

(b) A person or persons who, in good faith, seeks medical assistance for someone who is experiencing a drug or alcohol related overdose or other life threatening medical emergency shall not be arrested, charged, prosecuted, or have their property subject to civil forfeiture, or be subject to immigration or Protective Services penalties or consequences, or otherwise be penalized for (1) possession, or use of a controlled substance and/or drug paraphernalia under Ind. Code Ann. § 35-48-4, (2) violation of a restraining order, (3) violation of probation or parole, or (4) having an outstanding arrest warrant, if the evidence for the arrest, charge, prosecution, seizure or penalty was gained as a result of the seeking of medical assistance, (5) drug induced homicide.

(c) A person who is experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose or other life threatening medical emergency and, in good faith, seeks medical assistance for himself or herself or is the subject of such a good faith request for health care, shall not be arrested, charged, prosecuted, or have their property subject to civil forfeiture, or be subject to immigration or Protective Services penalties or consequences, or otherwise be penalized for 1) possession, sharing or use of a controlled substance and/or drug paraphernalia under Ind. Code Ann. § 35-48-4, 2) violation of a restraining order, 3) violation of probation or parole, or 4) having an outstanding arrest warrant, if the evidence for the arrest, charge, prosecution, seizure or penalty was gained as a result of the seeking of medical assistance, 5) drug induced homicide.

(d) The act of seeking medical assistance for someone who is experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose or other life threatening medical emergency shall be considered by the court as a mitigating factor in any criminal prosecution for any controlled substance, drug paraphernalia, or alcohol related offense for which complete immunity is not provided under sections (b) and (c).