About the Good Samaritan Law

The Good Samaritan law was designed to encourage New Yorkers to call 911 if they witness an overdose without fear of arrest or criminal prosecution for possessing small quantities of drugs (or alcohol if they are underage).

The law does protect you from the following:

  • Possessing controlled substances up to and including A2 felony offenses (anything under 8oz)

  • Possessing alcohol where underage drinking is involved

  • Possessing any quantity of marijuana

  • Possessing drug paraphernalia

  • Drug sharing

the law does not protect you from the following:

  • A1 felony possession of a controlled substance (8oz or more)

  • Sale or intent to sell controlled substances

  • Open warrants for your arrest

  • Violation of probation or parole

Additional resources

Drug Overdose Immunity and Good Samaritan Law by the National Conference of State Legislators

New York State’s 911 Good Samaritan Law Protects You by New York State Department of Health

Preventing the Consequences of Opioid Overdose: Understanding 911 Good Samaritan Laws PDF via SAMSHA

If you need more information or have questions about the NYS Good Samaritan Law, call 1-800-692-8528 or email ovrerdose@health.ny.gov