You are partying with friends in the Lakewood area. People are drinking and doing drugs. Someone suffers an emergency medical condition. You want to call for help, but you do not want to get in trouble. It seems like a lose-lose situation.
Under Colorado’s 911 Good Samaritan Law, you can have legal immunity. You can call for help. You can save your friend. You will not face charges.
What the law says
You can qualify for immunity. So can the person suffering from the medical emergency. But immunity applies only to the following:
- Unlawful possession or use of a controlled substance, synthetic cannabinoids or salvia divinorum
- Unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia
- Unlawful possession of no more than 12 ounces of marijuana
- Unlawful possession of 3 ounces or less of marijuana concentrate
- Open and public display, consumption or use of less than 2 ounces of marijuana
- Dispensing 2 ounces or less of marijuana to someone without payment or benefit
- Transferring 2 ounces or less of marijuana to someone without payment or benefit
- Illegal possession and/or consumption of alcohol, marijuana, or marijuana paraphernalia by an underage person
What you must do
You also must meet certain conditions. They include the following:
- Reporting the incident in good faith to a law enforcement officer, the 911 system or a medical provider
- Waiting at the scene for law enforcement or emergency medical personnel
- Waiting at a medical facility for a law enforcement officer
- Identifying yourself to law enforcement, emergency medical personnel or a medical provider
- Cooperating with the law enforcement officer, emergency medical personnel or medical provider
What else can happen
The scene of any medical emergency can be chaotic. Adding the presence of drugs and the arrival of police makes it a recipe for disaster.
You can act in good faith, but what about others? Other people at the scene may be more interested in protecting themselves. The police or family of the victim may want someone to blame. You can get caught in the fallout. You did the right thing for someone else. Do the same for yourself.