GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA

SESSION 2013

S                                                                                                                                                     1

SENATE BILL 20

 

 

Short Title:        Good Samaritan Law/Naloxone Access.

(Public)

Sponsors:

Senators Bingham, Allran (Primary Sponsors); and Randleman.

Referred to:

Judiciary II.

January 31, 2013

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT to Provide limited immunity from prosecution for (1) certain drug-related offenses committed by an individual who seeks medical assistance for a person experiencing a drug-related overdose and (2) certain drug-related offenses committed by an individual experiencing a drug-related overdose and in need of medical assistance; and to provide immunity from civil or criminal liability for (1) practitioners who prescribe, dispense, or distribute an opioid antagonist to certain third parties and (2) certain individuals who administer an opioid antagonist to a person experiencing a drug-related overdose.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1.  Article 5 of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

" 90-96.2.  Drug-related overdose treatment; limited immunity.

(a)        As used in this section, "drug-related overdose" means an acute condition including mania, hysteria, extreme physical illness, coma, or death resulting from the consumption or use of a controlled substance, or another substance with which a controlled substance was combined, and that a layperson would reasonably believe to be a drug overdose that requires medical assistance.

(b)        A person acting in good faith who seeks medical assistance for an individual experiencing a drug-related overdose shall not be prosecuted for (i) a misdemeanor violation of G.S. 90-95(a)(3), (ii) a felony violation of G.S. 90-95(a)(3) for possession of less than one gram of cocaine, (iii) a felony violation of G.S. 90-95(a)(3) for possession of less than one gram of heroin, or (iv) a violation of G.S. 90-113.22 if the evidence for prosecution under those sections was obtained as a result of the person seeking medical assistance for the drug-related overdose.

(c)        A person who experiences a drug-related overdose and is in need of medical assistance shall not be prosecuted for (i) a misdemeanor violation of G.S. 90-95(a)(3), (ii) a felony violation of G.S. 90-95(a)(3) for possession of less than one gram of cocaine, (iii) a felony violation of G.S. 90-95(a)(3) for possession of less than one gram of heroin, or (iv) a violation of G.S. 90-113.22 if the evidence for prosecution under those sections was obtained as a result of the drug-related overdose and need for medical assistance.

(d)        Nothing in this section shall be construed to bar the admissibility of any evidence obtained in connection with the investigation and prosecution of other crimes committed by a person who otherwise qualifies for limited immunity under this section."

SECTION 2.  Article 5 of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

" 90-106.2.  Treatment of overdose with opioid antagonist; immunity.

(a)        As used in this section, "opioid antagonist" means naloxone hydrochloride that is approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of a drug overdose.

(b)        A practitioner acting in good faith and exercising reasonable care may directly or by standing order prescribe, dispense, or distribute an opioid antagonist to (i) a person at risk of experiencing an opiate-related overdose or (ii) a family member, friend, or other person in a position to assist a person at risk of experiencing an opiate-related overdose.

(c)        A person who receives an opioid antagonist that was prescribed, dispensed, or distributed pursuant to subsection (b) of this section may administer an opioid antagonist to another person if (i) the person has a good faith belief that the other person is experiencing a drug-related overdose and (ii) the person exercises reasonable care in administering the drug to the other person.

(d)        All of the following individuals are immune from any civil or criminal liability for actions authorized by this section:

(1)        Any practitioner who prescribes, dispenses, or distributes an opioid antagonist pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

(2)        Any person who administers an opioid antagonist pursuant to subsection (c) of this section."

SECTION 3.  This act becomes effective December 1, 2013, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.