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House Bill 965 – Georgia’s Medical Amnesty Law

 The “Georgia 9-1-1 Medical Amnesty Law” provides limited immunity from arrest, charge and prosecution for possession of certain drugs/alcohol and drug paraphernalia for individuals who experience a drug overdose and are in need of medical care and for those who seek medical care in good faith for a person experiencing an overdose. Such persons are also relieved from protective and restraining order violations and violations of probation and parole, if such penalties are “related to the seeking of medical assistance.”

Under the terms of the law, any person who seeks medical assistance in good faith for someone experiencing an alcohol related overdose “shall not be arrested, charged or prosecuted” for a number of crimes related to underage alcohol use: purchasing, attempting to purchase, possession, misrepresenting age to purchase alcohol, purchasing or acquiring alcohol on behalf of a minor, misrepresenting identity or using false identification to purchase alcohol.

In many cases, overdose bystanders fail to summon medical assistance because they are afraid that doing so may put them at risk of arrest and prosecution for alcohol and drug-related crimes. The Medical Amnesty Law attempts to address this problem by providing limited immunity from arrest, charge and prosecution for possession of controlled substances where the evidence for the arrest, charge or prosecution is obtained solely as a result of seeking of medical assistance.

All of these immunities apply to the person who seeks medical assistance as well as the victim.  If you or a fellow student is ever in need of medical assistance, please seek assistance immediately.


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