HB 363 – Immunity in Drug-Related Medical Emergencies (2013-2014)
Link to Bill:http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=130_HB_363
HB 363 provides immunity from criminal liability for those who seek help for either themselves or others when involved in a drug-related medical emergency. This immunity extends only to minor drug possession offenses, where evidence against a person is obtained as a result of that person seeking medical assistance.
Primary Sponsors:Rep. Driehaus (D), Rep. Sprague (R)
Secondary Sponsors:Rep. Antonio (D), Rep. Buchy (R), Rep. Grossman (R), Rep. Hackett (R), Rep. J. Adams (R), Rep. Patterson (D), Rep. Phillips (D), Rep. Scherer (R), Rep. Sears (R), Rep. Sheehy (D), Rep. Smith (R), Rep. Wachtmann (R)
LSC Legislation Status:http://lsc.state.oh.us/coderev/hou130.nsf/House+Bill+Number/0363?OpenDocument
Our take on this bill:
The ACLU of Ohio supports HB 363 and similar programs that improve public safety, broaden accessibility of potentially lifesaving medical treatment, and reduce the impact of punitive drug policies. HB 363 advocates for the common-sense approach of offering legal immunity for those who seek medical treatment for themselves or for others as a result of taking drugs or alcohol. People should be encouraged to seek out medical attention during a medical emergency. The current threat of criminal prosecution undermines public health. Addressing drug use and abuse from this perspective – one that encourages public health rather than criminal prosecution – reduces the number of individuals who needlessly end up in the criminal justice system.