Good Samaritan Law Aims To Reduce Alcohol & Drug Overdose Deaths

A bill signed into law by Governor McCrory will provide limited immunity to underage drinkers who call for help if someone who drank too much needs assistance.

Lawmakers say the "911 Good Samaritan Law" is an effort to reduce drug overdoses and alcohol poisoning in our state.

The 911 Good Samaritan law provides limited criminal immunity from prosecution charges for less than one gram of drugs or paraphernalia to people who call 911 to report an overdose. The immunity also applies to underage drinkers who seek help for alcohol poisoning. In North Carolina, more than half of drug overdoses occur in the presence of another person, yet in most cases, witnesses are afraid to call for help for fear of police and criminal repercussions for drug possession.

In the past decade overdose deaths have tripled, claiming over 1100 North Carolinians last year, while nationwide overdose deaths have surpassed auto fatalities as the leading cause of accidental death.

The law goes into effect immediately.