911 Good Samaritan Bill Passes the Senate with a Vote of 29-6

Press Release February 12, 2007
Media Contact

Reena Szczepanski at (505) 699-0798 or Tommy McDonald at (646) 335-2242

A bill that would shield people who are using alcohol or other drugs from prosecution for drug possession after calling 911 when they seek help for a friend during an overdose passed the Senate by a 29-6 margin yesterday. The bill now heads to the House.

SB 200, the 911 Good Samaritan bill, addresses the overwhelming rates of drug-related overdoses in New Mexico by encouraging people to call 911 in the event of an overdose. The bill provides limited immunity from drug possession charges when a witness or victim of a drug-related overdose calls emergency services for help.

“New Mexico has the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the country. These deaths are preventable,” said Reena Szczepanski, director of the Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico. “The majority of drug-related overdoses occur in the presence of close friends, family or acquaintances. People using drugs are afraid to call 911 during an overdose because they might be arrested for possession of illicit substances, even in cases where they need professional medical assistance for their friends and families. This bill is about putting life first.”

For the latest on SB 200, the 911 Good Samaritan bill, please contact Reena Szczepanski at 699-0798 or Tommy McDonald at 983-3277.

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

Sign up for updates from DPA.