senate Bill S4454A

Amended

Provides limitations on use of evidence obtained in connection with a person seeking or receiving health care for a drug overdose

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 06 / Apr / 2011
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 13 / May / 2011
    • AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO CODES
  • 13 / May / 2011
    • PRINT NUMBER 4454A
  • 15 / Jun / 2011
    • AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO CODES
  • 15 / Jun / 2011
    • PRINT NUMBER 4454B
  • 20 / Jun / 2011
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 20 / Jun / 2011
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1386
  • 20 / Jun / 2011
    • SUBSTITUTED BY A2063C

Summary

Provides limitations on use of evidence obtained in connection with a person seeking or receiving health care for a drug overdose.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A2063B
Versions:
S4454
S4454A
S4454B
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Law Section:
Criminal Procedure Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง140.60, CP L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4454A

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to
seeking or receiving health care for a drug or alcohol overdose

PURPOSE:
This legislation will encourage a witness or victim of a drug or
alcohol related overdose to call 911 or seek other emergency
assistance in order to save the life of an overdose victim by
establishing a state policy of protecting the witnesses or victim
from arrest, charge, and prosecution for drug possession, drug
paraphernalia possession, and certain alcohol related offenses.
Recognizing that most who are in need of treatment for an overdose
are unable to seek treatment on their own due to the nature of the
medical condition, the bill encourages those who may be with the
person to obtain health care for the individual who has overdosed by
exempting evidence found on them as well.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Subparagraph 1 of the bill defines "drug or alcohol overdose" and
"health care."

Subparagraph 2 of section two states that a person who in good faith
seeks health care for someone who is experiencing a drug or alcohol
overdose, shall not be arrested, charged or prosecuted for or
convicted of possession of a controlled substance or criminal or
unlawful possession of marihuana, alcohol or drug paraphernalia that
was obtained as a result of seeking or receiving health care.

Subparagraph 3 of section two states that a person experiencing a drug
or alcohol overdose and in good faith seeks health care for himself
or herself, shall not be arrested, charged or prosecuted for, or
convicted of possession of a controlled substance or criminal or
unlawful possession of marihuana, alcohol or drug paraphernalia that
was obtained as a result of seeking or receiving health care.

Section 3 states that the act of seeking health care for someone
experiencing an overdose or other life threatening emergency, shall
be considered by the court when
presented as a mitigating factor in any criminal prosecution for
controlled substance, marihuana, drug paraphernalia or alcohol
related offense.

Section 4 is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:
Fear of prosecution can be a real obstacle to seeking medical care for
someone suffering from a drug or alcohol overdose. We don't want to
condone drug use, but neither would we want to subject drug users to
a death penalty. This legislation will limit the use of evidence
relating to possession of a controlled substance, marihuana, drug
paraphernalia or alcohol, where the evidence results from seeking
treatment for a drug overdose, including where someone seeks
treatment for someone else. In New York, overdose is the number one


cause of accidental death, exceeding traffic fatalities. In 2008,
over 1,350 people died from accidental drug overdoses in New York
State, an increase of more than 60% from 1999. The primary reason
people do not call 911 or go to the hospital for an overdose is fear
of prosecution.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2007-08: A.8740 Referred to Rules Committee
2009-10: A.8147 Passed Assembly

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None noted.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
Immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 4454--A

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              April 6, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sens. DeFRANCISCO, ADAMS, GOLDEN, KRUEGER, RANZENHOFER --
  read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to  be  committed  to
  the  Committee on Codes -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered
  reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee

AN ACT to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation  to  seeking  or
  receiving health care for a drug or alcohol overdose

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. It is the intent of the legislature to encourage a  witness
or  victim  of  a  drug  or alcohol related overdose to call 911 or seek
other emergency assistance in order to save  the  life  of  an  overdose
victim  by  establishing  a  state policy of protecting the witnesses or
victim  from  arrest,  charge,  prosecution,  and  conviction  for  drug
possession,  drug  paraphernalia possession, and certain alcohol related
offenses. It is not the intent of the legislature to protect individuals
from arrest, charge, or prosecution for other offenses,  including  drug
trafficking,  or  to  interfere with law enforcement protocols to secure
the scene of an overdose.
  S 2. The criminal procedure law is amended by  adding  a  new  section
140.60 to read as follows:
S 140.60 WITNESS OR VICTIM OF DRUG OR ALCOHOL OVERDOSE.
  1. DEFINITIONS. AS USED IN THIS SECTION THE FOLLOWING TERMS SHALL HAVE
THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS:
  (A)  "DRUG OR ALCOHOL OVERDOSE" OR "OVERDOSE" MEANS AN ACUTE CONDITION
INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PHYSICAL ILLNESS, COMA,  MANIA,  HYSTERIA
OR  DEATH,  WHICH  IS  THE  RESULT OF CONSUMPTION OR USE OF A CONTROLLED
SUBSTANCE OR ALCOHOL AND RELATES TO AN ADVERSE REACTION TO OR THE  QUAN-
TITY  OF  THE  CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE OR ALCOHOL OR A SUBSTANCE WITH WHICH
THE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE  OR  ALCOHOL  WAS  COMBINED;  PROVIDED  THAT  A
PATIENT'S  CONDITION SHALL BE DEEMED TO BE A DRUG OR ALCOHOL OVERDOSE IF
A PRUDENT LAYPERSON, POSSESSING AN AVERAGE  KNOWLEDGE  OF  MEDICINE  AND

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD10559-02-1

S. 4454--A                          2

HEALTH, COULD REASONABLY BELIEVE THAT THE CONDITION IS IN FACT A DRUG OR
ALCOHOL OVERDOSE AND (EXCEPT AS TO DEATH) REQUIRES HEALTH CARE.
  (B) "HEALTH CARE" MEANS THE PROFESSIONAL SERVICES PROVIDED TO A PERSON
EXPERIENCING  A  DRUG  OR ALCOHOL OVERDOSE BY A HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL
LICENSED, REGISTERED OR CERTIFIED UNDER TITLE EIGHT OF THE EDUCATION LAW
OR ARTICLE THIRTY OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW WHO, ACTING WITHIN HIS OR HER
LAWFUL SCOPE OF PRACTICE, MAY PROVIDE DIAGNOSIS, TREATMENT OR  EMERGENCY
SERVICES FOR A PERSON EXPERIENCING A DRUG OR ALCOHOL OVERDOSE.
  2.  A  PERSON WHO, IN GOOD FAITH, SEEKS HEALTH CARE FOR SOMEONE WHO IS
EXPERIENCING A DRUG  OR  ALCOHOL  OVERDOSE  OR  OTHER  LIFE  THREATENING
MEDICAL  EMERGENCY  SHALL  NOT  BE  ARRESTED, CHARGED, PROSECUTED FOR OR
CONVICTED OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE OFFENSE UNDER  ARTICLE  TWO  HUNDRED
TWENTY  OR  A  MARIHUANA OFFENSE UNDER ARTICLE TWO HUNDRED TWENTY-ONE OF
THE PENAL LAW, OTHER THAN AN OFFENSE INVOLVING SALE FOR COMPENSATION, OR
FOR POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL BY A PERSON UNDER AGE TWENTY-ONE  YEARS  UNDER
SECTION  SIXTY-FIVE-C  OF  THE  ALCOHOLIC  BEVERAGE  CONTROL LAW, OR FOR
POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA UNDER ARTICLE THIRTY-NINE OF THE GENER-
AL BUSINESS LAW, WITH RESPECT TO ANY  CONTROLLED  SUBSTANCE,  MARIHUANA,
ALCOHOL  OR  PARAPHERNALIA THAT WAS OBTAINED AS A RESULT OF SUCH SEEKING
OR RECEIVING OF HEALTH CARE.
  3. A PERSON WHO IS EXPERIENCING A DRUG OR ALCOHOL  OVERDOSE  OR  OTHER
LIFE THREATENING MEDICAL EMERGENCY AND, IN GOOD FAITH, SEEKS HEALTH CARE
FOR  HIMSELF  OR  HERSELF OR IS THE SUBJECT OF SUCH A GOOD FAITH REQUEST
FOR HEALTH CARE, SHALL NOT  BE  ARRESTED,  CHARGED,  PROSECUTED  FOR  OR
CONVICTED  OF  A  CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE OFFENSE UNDER ARTICLE TWO HUNDRED
TWENTY OR A MARIHUANA OFFENSE UNDER ARTICLE TWO  HUNDRED  TWENTY-ONE  OF
THE PENAL LAW, OTHER THAN AN OFFENSE INVOLVING SALE FOR COMPENSATION, OR
FOR  POSSESSION  OF ALCOHOL BY A PERSON UNDER AGE TWENTY-ONE YEARS UNDER
SECTION SIXTY-FIVE-C OF THE  ALCOHOLIC  BEVERAGE  CONTROL  LAW,  OR  FOR
POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA UNDER ARTICLE THIRTY-NINE OF THE GENER-
AL  BUSINESS  LAW,  WITH RESPECT TO ANY SUBSTANCE, MARIHUANA, ALCOHOL OR
PARAPHERNALIA THAT WAS OBTAINED AS A RESULT OF SUCH SEEKING OR RECEIVING
OF HEALTH CARE.
  S 3. Section 390.40 of the criminal procedure law is amended by adding
a new subdivision 3 to read as follows:
  3. THE ACT OF SEEKING HEALTH CARE FOR SOMEONE WHO  IS  EXPERIENCING  A
DRUG  OR  ALCOHOL  OVERDOSE  OR OTHER LIFE THREATENING MEDICAL EMERGENCY
SHALL BE CONSIDERED BY THE COURT WHEN PRESENTED AS A  MITIGATING  FACTOR
IN  ANY CRIMINAL PROSECUTION FOR A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, MARIHUANA, DRUG
PARAPHERNALIA, OR ALCOHOL RELATED OFFENSE.
  S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.

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