Unfortunately, the number of prescription painkiller overdoses in Wisconsin (such as hydrocodone and oxycodone), even surpassing the number of deaths related to street drugs. And many of these deaths could have been prevented had witnesses not feared for the legal ramifications their own drug abuse would have warranted.
The State of Wisconsin is taking measures to improve this statistic by offering immunity for individuals who help overdose victims. How does this work? Wisconsin residents who contact emergency medical services or law enforcement officials, or those who physically take an overdose victim to a healthcare facility for treatment cannot be prosecuted for their own drug abuse – they are immune.
There is one exception, however; if the “Good Samaritan” is found trafficking drugs, he or she will not be immune. These laws don’t apply when drug trafficking is involved.
Civil immunity is also granted for emergency responders who administer naloxone before a victim arrives at a healthcare facility. Individuals must be trained to give an overdose victim this “antidote”, but when administered correctly, naloxone can save a person’s life by counteracting the effects of opiate drugs.
The intent of this legislation is to prevent senseless deaths by encouraging witnesses to help overdose victims instead of being hesitant because of their own abuse of controlled substances or possession of drug paraphernalia.
Immunity laws vary based on whether an individual has been dealt with a criminal or civil charge. At Huppertz & Powers, our experienced Waukesha Criminal Defense Attorneys can provide the best insight and confidence you need to build the strongest case possible. Contact us today to schedule your 100% free and confidential first meeting.