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Bill would allow drone use in emergency situations

Posted at 3:33 AM, Feb 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-21 05:33:13-05

BOISE, Idaho — Proposed legislation would make it easier for law enforcement and first responders to use drones in emergency situations. Proponents of the bill held a demonstrations outside the statehouse Thursday.

Representative Doug Ricks says his legislation would let emergency personnel use drones without a warrant for things like traffic accidents and search and rescue situations. It would also tighten up the law to make sure drones are not used without a warrant for narcotics searches, which proponents say violates the fourth amendment.

"If law enforcement responds to a scene and we determine we are in a private area that we need a warrant things are going to stop as long as life-saving measures are not in place," said David Barker, UAS Team Leader of the Idaho Falls Police Department. "They are going to hold that scene and then go get the warrants so it really doesn't change anything that way it's just another tool that might be utilized in those types of investigations."

The bill passed unanimously out of committee and heads to the floor with a "do pass" recommendation.