Lawmakers in New Hampshire are considering a bill that would provide immunity to people involved in drug- or alcohol-related emergency calls, based on the theory that it may save lives.
According to Boston.com, many deaths by overdose could have been prevented if the individuals had received medical attention in a timely manner. Currently, people who are present when this kind of incident occurs may avoid calling 911 for fear of being charged with drug or alcohol possession. The Good Samaritan bill would eliminate this deterrent, making it more likely for people to reach out for help during one of these crises, says emergency responder and former state Rep. Jenn Coffey.
Police and fire officials have publicly disagreed on the proposed law, reports New Hampshire news source Seacoast Online. While Portsmouth Police Department's Corey MacDonald stated that providing "blanket immunity" could lead to problems if law enforcement officials uncover more serious criminal activity during an emergency response, Assistant Portsmouth Fire Chief Steve Achilles argued that the focus should be on providing care for patients.
"Some people think they're going to be held accountable for what's going on, and for us, we need to know about it as soon as we can," said Achilles. "Our focus is not to judge, but to intervene and, after the incident, figure out what we can do to educate people."
If you have been accused of a crime in the Granite State, you may want to consider consulting an experienced New Hampshire lawyer. These knowledgeable professionals can review your case and defend you in court, ensuring that you have a fair trial and can move forward with your life as quickly as possible.