Being a Good Samaritan in Missouri

Don’t run, call 911.

Missouri’s “Good Samaritan” law is designed to save lives by encouraging people to seek emergency medical help if they experience or witness a drug or alcohol overdose or other medical emergency. Under this law, the person who seeks medical help and the person experiencing the medical emergency will be protected from minor drug and alcohol violations.

This law provides immunity from:

  • Possession of a controlled substance (RSMO 579.015)
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia (RSMO 579.074)
  • Possession of an imitation controlled substance (RSMO 579.078)
  • Keeping or maintaining a public nuisance (RSMO 579.105)
  • Sale of alcohol to a minor (RSMO 311.310)
  • Possession of an altered ID (RSMO 311.320)
  • Purchase or possession of alcohol by a minor (RSMO 311.325)
  • Violation of a restraining order
  • Violation of probation or parole

To receive the protections under this statute, a person must actively seek medical assistance for an overdose or other medical emergency (i.e., call 911, or otherwise seek help). Under this law, the person who seeks assistance and the person who experiences the overdose or medical emergency may not be arrested, charged, prosecuted, convicted or have their property subject to civil asset forfeiture under any of these statutes.

This limited immunity does not provide immunity from any other crimes, including distribution of a controlled substance, manufacturing of drugs, active warrants, or any other crime.

This law also requires police officers who respond to a drug or alcohol overdose to provide appropriate treatment-related resources.

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