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January 2016 – what follows is the original article on this issue:
A new 2012 law – SB 12-020 – is sitting on Colorado Governor Hickenlooper’s desk – he should sign it. In this path breaking legislation, individuals who call for emergency assistance because of an overdose of controlled substances need not fear prosecution.
The Legislative declaration says it all:
(1) The general assembly hereby declares that Colorado has a strong interest in preventing deaths that result from the use of drugs and alcohol.
(2) The general assembly further declares that:
(a) The creation of a safe haven provision within the state’s criminal statutes for a person who reports in good faith an emergency drug or alcohol overdose event serves the state’s interest in preventing further deaths from
(b) By creating such a safe haven provision, the general assembly intends to encourage:
(I) Persons who otherwise would be reluctant to report such an event due to a fear of criminal prosecution to do so without delay; and
(II) Persons who abuse alcohol or drugs to seek treatment and assistance as necessary to obtain a safer, healthier lifestyle.
(1) a person shall be immune from criminal prosecution for an offense described in subsection (3) of this section if:
(a) the person reports in good faith an emergency drug or alcohol overdose event to a law enforcement officer, to the 911 System, or to a medical provider;
(b) the person remains at the scene of the event until a law enforcement officer or an emergency medical responder arrives, the person remains at the facilities of the medical provider until a law enforcement officer arrives;
(c) the person identifies himself or herself to, and cooperates with, the law enforcement officer, emergency medical responder, or medical provider; and
(d) the offense arises from the same course of events from which the emergency drug or alcohol overdose event arose.
(2) the immunity described in subsection (1) of this section also extends to the person who suffered the emergency drug or alcohol overdose event if all of the conditions of subsection (1) Are satisfied.
This is a no brainer Governor – the law shows fairness, compassion and common sense. Please sign it.
UPDATE: The Governor SIGNED THE LAW!