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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: September 19, 2013 11:37 AM
From: Senator Dominic Pileggi
To: All Senate members
Subject: Legislation Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Individuals who take Certain Actions to Respond to an Occurrence of Drug Overdose
I plan to introduce legislation which will provide immunity from prosecution for certain drug crimes to an individual responding to an occurrence of drug overdose under the following conditions:
  • The person committing the offense gave his/her name and location and cooperated with the authorities;
  • The person committing the offense remained with the person needing immediate medical attention until the authorities arrived;
  • The person committing the offense reasonably believed that he/she was the first person to report the incident; and
  • Law enforcement personnel only became aware of the person’s commission of the offense because the person reported the occurrence of drug overdose in good faith.
This measure is intended to encourage those who are with someone experiencing a potential drug overdose to contact the appropriate authorities to help prevent serious injury or death. There are documented cases where such actions were not taken due to fear of arrest.

It will also establish certain circumstances under which the immunity shall not apply, including for the offenses of delivery or distribution of a controlled substance or drug-induced homicide.

Similar laws have been enacted in twelve states including New Jersey where Governor Chris Christie approved legislation in early May of 2013.

Introduced as SB1164