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MN Bill Proposed that Could Save Lives in the Event of a Drug Ov - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

MN Bill Proposed that Could Save Lives in the Event of a Drug Overdose

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Auto crashes used to be the number one cause of accidental death in the United States, but today deadly drug overdoses have trumped that statistic. Law makers in Minnesota are trying to change that with a new bill called Steve's Law. Also known as the good samaritan law. As Valley News team's Eric Crest explains it might have the potential of saving lives by not incriminating others, who made the life saving call to authorities.

 

A drug overdose can go from bad to worse in no time flat. Kind of like addiction itself.

 

"My daughter was kind of a social butterfly. And all of a sudden never came out of her room,"says district 4 Minnesota Senator Chris Eaton. Sen. Eaton is trying to get the bill passed so that more lives can be saved, and less people will worry about making a call to authorities about a possible overdose in the first place.

 

Because when the people present who are using drugs, aren't willing to call the cops because of fear. Things can get even worse.

 

"He spent 30-40 minutes hiding evidence so that if anybody came on the scene he wouldn't be charged with anything," says Sen. Eaton who describes the situation with her daughter and an overdose that ultimately took her life.

 

Senator Eaton knows all to well how every minute matters. She lost her daughter seven years ago to a heroin overdose. That's part of why she has proposed this new bill.

 

"If they called for help because someone overdosed. They wouldn't be charged with a crime," says Sen. Eaton.

 

It's a bill that could save the lives of those who overdose on pain killers, opiates, even heroin. All by not charging the people present when the authorities show up with a crime.

 

"Law enforcement has been charging the person who delivered the drugs with third degree murder. They are afraid drug dealers or somebody will get away if they aren't able to arrest them," explains Sen. Eaton.

 

Because as Sen. Eaton describes, when people don't call in an overdose because they don't want to end up in jail, the real victims are the family members who are left behind.

 

"Saving a life is much more important than locking someone up who really just delivered a drug. It isn't the cartel. We don't have the cartel here. These are just kids bringing drugs to other kids," she says.

 

The Minnesota County Attorneys Association is opposed to the bill. Saying they don't support offering blanket immunity for those who call in an overdose. They add it would make it difficult to find out where the drugs are coming from if those present aren't held accountable. The bill will be discussed Friday in the Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

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