Gov. Cuomo signs 911 Good Samaritan bill into law; NY largest state to enact legislation9-1-1 in the News, Legal | Caitlin | July 22, 2011 at 8:22 am
NEW YORK — Gov. Cuomo yesterday signed into law a bill aimed at curbing the number of deaths related to accidental drug or alcohol overdose, making New York the largest state to enact such legislation.
The law provides some protection from prosecution to people seeking emergency help in an overdose situation, which is intended to encourage people to call 911 and potentially save lives without fearing arrest for drug or alcohol possession.
“No one should go to jail for trying to save a life,” said Hiawatha Collins, a leader and Board member of VOCAL-NY, one of the groups that supported the legislation.
“New York is making clear that saving lives needs to be our priority, not locking people up,” he added.
Sponsored by State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) and Assemblyman Dick Gottfried (D-Manhattan), the bill passed the Senate unanimously and the Assembly near unanimously.
New Mexico, Connecticut and Washington state enacted similar laws in the last few years, and Massachusetts and Illinois are currently considering their own measures.