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Searching 2018 Special Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 18 : Health

Chapter 084 : POSSESSION AND CONTROL OF REGULATED DRUGS

Subchapter 003 : MISCELLANEOUS

(Cite as: 18 V.S.A. § 4254)
  • § 4254. Immunity from liability

    (a) As used in this section:

    (1) "Drug overdose" means an acute condition resulting from or believed to be resulting from the use of a regulated drug that a layperson would reasonably believe requires medical assistance. For purposes of this section, "regulated drug" shall include alcohol.

    (2) "Medical assistance" means professional services provided to a person experiencing a drug overdose by a health care professional licensed, registered, or certified under State law who, acting within his or her lawful scope of practice, may provide diagnosis, treatment, or emergency services for a person experiencing a drug overdose.

    (3) "Seeks medical assistance" shall include providing care to someone who is experiencing a drug overdose while awaiting the arrival of medical assistance to aid the overdose victim.

    (b) A person who, in good faith and in a timely manner, seeks medical assistance for someone who is experiencing a drug overdose shall not be cited, arrested, or prosecuted for a violation of this chapter or cited, arrested, or prosecuted for procuring, possessing, or consuming alcohol by someone under 21 years of age pursuant to 7 V.S.A. § 656 or for providing to or enabling consumption of alcohol by someone under 21 years of age pursuant to 7 V.S.A. § 658(a)-(c).

    (c) A person who is experiencing a drug overdose and, in good faith, seeks medical assistance for himself or herself or is the subject of a good faith request for medical assistance shall not be cited, arrested, or prosecuted for a violation of this chapter or cited, arrested, or prosecuted for procuring, possessing, or consuming alcohol by someone under 21 years of age pursuant to 7 V.S.A. § 656 or for providing to or enabling consumption of alcohol by someone under 21 years of age pursuant to 7 V.S.A. § 658(a)-(c).

    (d) A person who seeks medical assistance for a drug overdose or is the subject of a good faith request for medical assistance pursuant to subsection (b) or (c) of this section shall not be subject to any of the penalties for violation of 13 V.S.A. § 1030 (violation of a protection order), for a violation of this chapter or 7 V.S.A. § 656, for being at the scene of the drug overdose or for being within close proximity to any person at the scene of the drug overdose.

    (e) A person who seeks medical assistance for a drug overdose or is the subject of a good faith request for medical assistance pursuant to subsection (b) or (c) of this section shall not be subject to any sanction for a violation of a condition of pretrial release, probation, furlough, or parole for a violation of this chapter or 7 V.S.A. § 656 for being at the scene of the drug overdose or for being within close proximity to any person at the scene of the drug overdose.

    (f) The act of seeking medical assistance for or by someone who is experiencing a drug overdose shall be considered a mitigating circumstance at sentencing for a violation of any other offense.

    (g) The immunity provisions of this section apply only to the use and derivative use of evidence gained as a proximate result of the person's seeking medical assistance for a drug overdose, being the subject of a good faith request for medical assistance, being at the scene, or being within close proximity to any person at the scene of the drug overdose for which medical assistance was sought and do not preclude prosecution of the person on the basis of evidence obtained from an independent source.

    (h) A person who seeks medical assistance for a drug overdose pursuant to subsection (b) or (c) of this section shall not be subject to the provisions of subchapter 2 of this chapter concerning property subject to forfeiture, except that prima facie contraband shall be subject to forfeiture.

    (i) Except in cases of reckless or intentional misconduct, law enforcement shall be immune from liability for citing or arresting a person who is later determined to qualify for immunity under this section. (Added 2013, No. 71, § 2, eff. June 5, 2013; amended 2013, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 17; 2017, No. 83, § 148.)