RALEIGH, NC (WBTV)- North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill into law Tuesday that aims to encourage drug overdose witnesses to seek help for the victims, rather than fear getting into trouble.
Senate Bill 20 (SB20), Good Samaritan Law/Naloxone Access , or simply the "911 Good Samaritan" laws, go into effect immediately. Lawmakers hope they will reduce drug overdose fatalities in North Carolina, by providing limited criminal immunity from prosecution charges for less than one gram of drugs or paraphernalia to people who call 911 to report an overdose.
The immunity also applies to underage drinkers who seek help for alcohol poisoning. In North Carolina, more than half of drug overdoses occur in the presence of another person, yet in most cases, officials say witnesses are afraid to call for help for fear of police and criminal repercussions for drug possession.