Maine’s Good Samaritan Law expands protections for those seeking help

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 4:22 PM EDT
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PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) - Maine’s Good Samaritan Law has been expanded.

The additions to the law go into effect Monday to provide protection for those who are experiencing or seeking medical treatment or looking after a person experiencing an overdose.

The expanded law hopes to eliminate the fear of legal repercussions by law enforcement and empower people to call for help at the scene of an overdose.

Maine has reported 614 fatal overdoses in the past year, according to the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is an increase of 22% from the year prior.

“The expansion of the Good Samaritan law affirms what we already knew: people who use drugs do not deserve to die. It sends a clear message that in Maine, we believe saving peoples’ lives is more important than charging them with minor criminal offenses,” Courtney Allen, Organizing Director of Maine Recovery Advocacy Project said.

The law will protect people from arrest and prosecution for specific nonviolent or drug-related crimes, as well as revocation of bail, probation or deferred disposition of aforementioned crimes.

The law does not protect a person who has committed violent crimes, sex crimes or crimes against children.

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