Ask the Chief is a series of short articles that explain the various aspects of the operations at the Lake County Sheriff's Office. This week's topic is:
Ask the Chief…..
Bill 110 persons who overdose cannot be charged until their third documented
overdose if they seek treatment following their first two overdoses. How do you keep track of a person’s number of
Yes, Ohio House Bill 110, which took effect
on 9-10-2016, does not permit law enforcement to charge overdose victims or
suspects with drug related charges unless they are currently on parole or
probation, or it is their third documented overdose. However, the law does permit them to be
charged if within 30 days of their overdose they have not made any attempt to
seek treatment. Our Heroin task force is
actively working with people who overdose to insure such compliance with
One issue we have identified with tracking
overdoses is that a person can overdose in multiple jurisdictions which have independent
reporting systems and the repeat offenses are never linked together. As an example, a person can overdose in
Concord Township, Mentor, and Madison Village, and the three overdoses are not
connected by law enforcement reporting systems.
Thus each agency views it as a first occurrence.
While we cannot track statewide, the Lake
County Sheriff’s Office Heroin Task Force is creating a central data base that
can be shared by law enforcement here in Lake County to better link together
heroin overdoses. Police Departments who
participate send copies of their overdose reports to the central data base and
the information is entered. When a law
enforcement agency in Lake County encounters a heroin overdose they can check
the data base to verify if this person has overdosed previously in any of the contributing
law enforcement jurisdictions. Thus they
can better charge offenders in their jurisdictions properly. In this manner, we as a law enforcement
collective can gain better insight into the heroin overdoses in Lake County,
track re-occurring offenders better, and properly deal with repeat offenders.
As law enforcement we want to help heroin
users who overdose to get the critical treatment they need. However, if they continually re-offend law
enforcement will take the necessary steps to hold them accountable to the
requirements of the law.
Chief Deputy, Lake County Sheriff’s Office
104 East Erie Street, Painesville, Ohio 44077