Skip to main content

Virginia Code Title 18.2. Crimes and Offenses Generally § 18.2-251.03. Arrest and prosecution when experiencing or reporting overdoses

Welcome to FindLaw's Cases & Codes, a free source of state and federal court opinions, state laws, and the United States Code. For more information about the legal concepts addressed by these cases and statutes, visit FindLaw's Learn About the Law.

A. For purposes of this section, “overdose” means a life-threatening condition resulting from the consumption or use of a controlled substance, alcohol, or any combination of such substances.

B. No individual shall be subject to arrest or prosecution for the unlawful purchase, possession, or consumption of alcohol pursuant to § 4.1-305, possession of a controlled substance pursuant to § 18.2-250, possession of marijuana pursuant to § 18.2-250.1, intoxication in public pursuant to § 18.2-388, or possession of controlled paraphernalia pursuant to § 54.1-3466 if:

1. Such individual (i) in good faith, seeks or obtains emergency medical attention (a) for himself, if he is experiencing an overdose, or (b) for another individual, if such other individual is experiencing an overdose, or (ii) is experiencing an overdose and another individual, in good faith, seeks or obtains emergency medical attention for such individual, by contemporaneously reporting such overdose to a firefighter, as defined in § 65.2-102, emergency medical services personnel, as defined in § 32.1-111.1, a law-enforcement officer, as defined in § 9.1-101, or an emergency 911 system;

2. Such individual remains at the scene of the overdose or at any alternative location to which he or the person requiring emergency medical attention has been transported until a law-enforcement officer responds to the report of an overdose.  If no law-enforcement officer is present at the scene of the overdose or at the alternative location, then such individual shall cooperate with law enforcement as otherwise set forth herein;

3. Such individual identifies himself to the law-enforcement officer who responds to the report of the overdose;  and

4. The evidence for the prosecution of an offense enumerated in this subsection was obtained as a result of the individual seeking or obtaining emergency medical attention.

C. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any person who seeks or obtains emergency medical attention for himself or another individual, or to a person experiencing an overdose when another individual seeks or obtains emergency medical attention for him, during the execution of a search warrant or during the conduct of a lawful search or a lawful arrest.

D. This section does not establish protection from arrest or prosecution for any individual or offense other than those listed in subsection B.

E. No law-enforcement officer acting in good faith shall be found liable for false arrest if it is later determined that the person arrested was immune from prosecution under this section.

(a) Any information or records concerning an individual or employing unit obtained by the department pursuant to the administration of this chapter or other federally funded programs for which the department has responsibility shall be private and confidential, except as otherwise provided in this article or by regulation.  This article does not create a rule of evidence.  Information or records may be released by the department when the release is required by the federal government in connection with, or as a condition of funding for, a program being administered by the department.  The provisions of paragraphs (1) through (3) of subsection (a) of Code Section 34-8-125 shall not apply to such release.

(b)(1) Each employing unit shall keep true and accurate records containing such information as the Commissioner may prescribe.  Such records shall be open to inspection and be subject to being copied by the Commissioner or an authorized representative of the Commissioner at any time and as often as may be necessary.  In addition to information prescribed by the Commissioner, each employer shall keep records of and report to the Commissioner quarterly the street address of each establishment, branch, outlet, or office of such employer, the nature of the operation, the number of persons employed, and the wages paid at each establishment, branch, outlet, or office.

(2) The Commissioner or an authorized representative of the Commissioner may require from any employing unit any sworn or unsworn reports deemed necessary for the effective administration of this chapter.  Any member of the board of review, any administrative hearing officer, or any field representative may require from any employing unit any sworn or unsworn reports, with respect to persons employed by it, which are deemed necessary for the effective administration of this chapter.

(3) Information, statements, transcriptions of proceedings, transcriptions of recordings, electronic recordings, letters, memoranda, and other documents and reports thus obtained or obtained from any individual, claimant, employing unit, or employer pursuant to the administration of this chapter, except to the extent necessary for the proper administration and enforcement of this chapter, shall be held confidential and shall not be subject to subpoena in any civil action or proceeding, published, or open to public inspection, other than to public employees in the performance of their public duties, in any manner revealing the individual's or employing unit's identity;  but any claimant, employer, or a duly authorized representative, at a hearing before an administrative hearing officer or the board of review, shall be supplied with information from such records to the extent necessary for the proper presentation of his or her claim.  Any person who violates any provision of this paragraph shall upon conviction be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of Code Sections 50-6-9 and 50-6-29 relating to the powers of the state auditor to disclose private and confidential information or records obtained by the department pursuant to the administration of this chapter or other federally funded programs for which the department has responsibility, such private and confidential information or records may be disclosed by the state auditor only in accordance with all provisions of this article and the requirements of 20 C.F.R. 603 and, after notice and review, upon the written direction of the Commissioner issued in advance of such disclosure.

(5) On orders of the Commissioner, any records or documents received or maintained by the Commissioner under the provisions of this chapter or the rules and regulations promulgated under this chapter may be destroyed under such safeguards as will protect their confidential nature two years after the date on which such records or documents last serve any useful, legal, or administrative purpose in the administration of this chapter or in the protection of the rights of anyone.

Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Virginia Code Title 18.2. Crimes and Offenses Generally § 18.2-251.03. Arrest and prosecution when experiencing or reporting overdoses - last updated January 01, 2020 | https://codes.findlaw.com/va/title-18-2-crimes-and-offenses-generally/va-code-sect-18-2-251-03.html


FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.

Was this helpful?

Thank you. Your response has been sent.

Copied to clipboard