South Dakota Senate Panel Rejects Overdose Immunity Measure

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A Senate panel has rejected a bill that would have provided protections for people who called in drug overdoses to authorities or medical responders.

The Senate Transportation Committee voted 4-2 Wednesday to defeat the immunity proposal, which would have blocked some arrests and charges for those who reported a drug overdose, remained at the scene and cooperated with officials.

Republican Sen. Larry Tidemann, a supporter, says the bill was about saving lives. He says a dead person can’t be sent to drug treatment.

Groups for prosecutors and law enforcement opposed the bill.

South Dakota State’s Attorneys Association executive director Paul Bachand questioned whether it would be effective, saying that he doesn’t think lawmakers can “legislate good behavior after a night of bad behavior.”

The bill had passed through the House.

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