The Good Samaritan Law, which provides some criminal immunity to people who witness drug overdoses and call for medical help, has been updated along with other legislation taking effect Saturday.
Clarifications signed by Gov. Pat McCrory and effective Saturday will expand the conditions that must be met for anyone to receive immunity from prosecution in those cases.
The person calling 911 about the overdose must identify him- or herself to the responders, and the call can’t coincide with the execution of an arrest warrant or other lawful search. The evidence that would support prosecution has to have been obtained by authorities as a result of the call.
The law may also give immunity to the person overdosing.
The law will treat cases involving underage possession of alcohol similarly. And if a law enforcement officer arrests someone who should have immunity, that officer is immune from civil liability.
Also going into effect is a repeal of the “protest” petition, a tool that property owners in cities have long used to challenge unwanted rezoning proposals.
A petition successfully filed with a city council meant the rezoning proposal would need a three-fourths majority to pass, giving the neighbors of the property in question the upper hand. The repeal of that process doesn’t mean residents have lost their petition power, sponsor Rep. Skip Stam, a Wake County Republican, has emphasized.
The new law says any resident or property owner in the city can submit to the clerk a written statement regarding a zoning proposal, and it’ll go to the city council if that statement arrived at least two business days before the scheduled vote.
Among other new laws in effect Aug. 1 is an authorization for certain neurologists to use hemp extract to treat intractable epilepsy without participating in a pilot study.
And the North Carolina Landscape Contractors’ Licensing Board will be established. The nine-member body, for consumer protection, would set the standards for licensure and could discipline licensees.