Governor Jack Markell signed a bill Tuesday granting criminal immunity to individuals who report an alcohol or drug overdose.
Senate Bill 116 passed the senate on June 18 and the house on June 26, with no dissenting votes in either chamber. It provides that someone who seeks medical attention for an overdose or life threatening emergency, including for him or herself, will not be arrested or prosecuted for crimes detailed in the law. These offenses do not include the most serious felonies, Classes A, B and C.
"If we might save just one life by removing the fear that prevents a victim or friend from calling for help, we should not hesitate," said Markell, who also thanked the relatives of Jackson, Perkins and other victims.
"This is a very big step and I'm thrilled that it has been signed into law today," said Sen. Cathy Cloutier (R-Heatherbrooke), the bill's prime sponsor. "I believe it is a law that will save lives in Delaware. Now we need to educate people that if they are with friends, they don't need to be afraid to call 911 if things get out of hand. No one should die because of another's fear of getting in trouble."