"Good Samaritan" bill aimed at lowering overdose deaths awaits governor's signature

Posted at 6:15 PM, Mar 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-20 20:15:12-04

A bill aimed at increasing the number of lifesaving 911 calls during an overdose is awaiting the Governor's signature.

House Bill 649 would essentially give immunity to the person who calls 911 when witnessing an overdose, stating they will not be charged or prosecuted for being under the influence - or in possession - of a controlled substance.

Similar laws are already in place in 41 states.

"The Good Samaritan bill is for situations where there's been a drug overdose, and the people around them would be able to call [911] and not be worried about getting in trouble with the police when they call," Representative Sue Chew of Boise said.

Lawmakers hope putting the bill into law will save lives in Idaho, and help overdose victims get addiction treatment rather than jail time.