Fargo Police Set the Record Straight on State’s Good Samaritan Law

The law gives immunity to fellow drug users to encourage them to call for help during a drug overdose

FARGO, N.D. — Details of a drug arrest from May of last year have raised questions about North Dakota’s Good Samaritan Law.

Fargo Police Chief Dave Todd took to Facebook to clear up the confusion.

Authorities want to remind the public that saving someone’s life is their top priority.

North Dakota’s Good Samaritan Law is designed to help authorities save a life when someone falls victim to a drug overdose.

“Our main goal is we want to see drug users get help. Bottom line,” said Deputy Chief Joe Anderson with the Fargo Police Department. “I think Chief Todd did a phenomenal job of laying out what the police department has done to address this issue.”

Seconds matter in an overdose situation because acting quickly can make the difference between life and death.

“We always say time is life, so the faster you can activate the 911 system,” said Don Martin, Communications Manager for F-M Ambulance, “the sooner we can get there and do lifesaving measures.”

Authorities say they count on quick and reliable information in order to try and save a life.

“We want them to be truthful. We don’t want them to be scared or afraid to give us information,” Martin said. “We just want to save someone’s life. That’s our whole purpose to be there. That’s our oath.”

Deputy Chief Anderson wants to make it clear the Good Samaritan Law won’t keep them from cracking down on drugs.

“If the person who’s supplying the drugs is present, we’re going to investigate it,” Anderson said. “The person who bought the drug, who supplied the drug, those persons…those people may be charged.”

The City of Fargo is a part of Blue Ribbon Task Force to end the addiction epidemic in the F–M community.

A summary of the Good Samaritan Law can be found here.

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