2014 Georgia Code
Title 16 - CRIMES AND OFFENSES
Chapter 13 - CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
Article 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 16-13-5 - Immunity from arrest or prosecution for persons seeking medical assistance for drug overdose

GA Code § 16-13-5 (2014) What's This?

(a) As used in this Code section, the term:

(1) "Drug overdose" means an acute condition, including, but not limited to, extreme physical illness, decreased level of consciousness, respiratory depression, coma, mania, or death, resulting from the consumption or use of a controlled substance or dangerous drug by the distressed individual in violation of this chapter or that a reasonable person would believe to be resulting from the consumption or use of a controlled substance or dangerous drug by the distressed individual.

(2) "Drug violation" means:

(A) A violation of subsection (a) of Code Section 16-13-30 for possession of a controlled substance if the aggregate weight, including any mixture, is less than four grams of a solid substance, less than one milliliter of liquid substance, or if the substance is placed onto a secondary medium with a combined weight of less than four grams;

(B) A violation of paragraph (1) of subsection (j) of Code Section 16-13-30 for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana; or

(C) A violation of Code Section 16-13-32.2, relating to possession and use of drug related objects.

(3) "Medical assistance" means aid provided to a person by a health care professional licensed, registered, or certified under the laws of this state who, acting within his or her lawful scope of practice, may provide diagnosis, treatment, or emergency medical services.

(4) "Seeks medical assistance" means accesses or assists in accessing the 9-1-1 system or otherwise contacts or assists in contacting law enforcement or a poison control center and provides care to a person while awaiting the arrival of medical assistance to aid such person.

(b) Any person who in good faith seeks medical assistance for a person experiencing or believed to be experiencing a drug overdose shall not be arrested, charged, or prosecuted for a drug violation if the evidence for the arrest, charge, or prosecution of such drug violation resulted solely from seeking such medical assistance. Any person who is experiencing a drug overdose and, in good faith, seeks medical assistance for himself or herself or is the subject of such a request shall not be arrested, charged, or prosecuted for a drug violation if the evidence for the arrest, charge, or prosecution of such drug violation resulted solely from seeking such medical assistance. Any such person shall also not be subject to, if related to the seeking of such medical assistance:

(1) Penalties for a violation of a permanent or temporary protective order or restraining order; or

(2) Sanctions for a violation of a condition of pretrial release, condition of probation, or condition of parole based on a drug violation.

(c) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to limit the admissibility of any evidence in connection with the investigation or prosecution of a crime with regard to a defendant who does not qualify for the protections of subsection (b) of this Code section or with regard to other crimes committed by a person who otherwise qualifies for protection pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section. Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to limit any seizure of evidence or contraband otherwise permitted by law. Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to limit or abridge the authority of a law enforcement officer to detain or take into custody a person in the course of an investigation or to effectuate an arrest for any offense except as provided in subsection (b) of this Code section.

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