Senate Ponders Bill On Overdose Immunity

Apr 7, 2015

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on Tuesday on a bill that would those who report overdoses immunity from criminal prosecution.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The Senate is weighing a bill that would give those who report overdoses immunity from possession charges if they remain on scene.

The measure aims to encourage people to call 911 by removing the fear of facing any jail time.

Devon Chaffee, head of the New Hampshire ACLU, says 22 states currently have a similar law on the books.

“If a person dies of a potential overdose, as we know, they can’t go into treatment, so what this bill is really about is providing second chances for those individuals,” she told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. 

But Assistant Attorney General James Vara worries the House bill would protect drug dealers too much – and says the language is better laid out in the Senate’s version.  

Last year more than 300 people in New Hampshire died from drug overdoses.