A proposed bill would help change the way Oklahoma’s “Good Samaritan” law works for those reporting drug overdose.
The bipartisan House Bill 2110 aims to reduce the potential penalties faced by the person reporting a drug overdose to first responders. In particular, the bill revises parts of the current Good Samaritan law so that the authorities can’t arrest a drug overdose reporter even if the reporter has an outstanding warrant.
The revised bill also adds a provision where authorities can’t revoke the reporter’s probation, pretrial release, or parole. The bill also protects the reporter’s property from forfeiture.
The current form of the Good Samaritan law
HB 2110 has yet to pass into law. However, the current version of the law can still protect persons who report a drug-related emergency. Generally speaking, a peace officer can’t take into custody a drug overdose reporter if the reporter meets the following criteria:
- The reporter contacted the peace officer requesting emergency medical assistance for another person suffering from an overdose of a controlled dangerous substance.
- The reporter performed the following:
- Gave their full name and other relevant information.
- They remained at the scene with the individual needing emergency medical assistance.
- They cooperated with emergency medical personnel and peace officers at the scene.
A person who meets all these criteria is immune from criminal prosecution for possessing a Schedule I or II controlled dangerous substance.
The Good Samaritan law can protect persons who report a drug overdose – this is to encourage people to do the right thing and report all emergency medical incidents. But until the revised law is approved, peace officers might still charge a reporter if they have outstanding warrants.
If you face charges for drug possession despite making a report under the Good Samaritan law, consider contacting a legal professional. A lawyer may be able to protect your rights under the law in court and maintain that you only did the right thing, as any Good Samaritan would have.