SECTION 1. Chapter 111B of the General Laws is hereby further amended by inserting after section 8 the following section:-
Section 8A. Any person who is incapacitated for a reason other than the consumption of intoxicating liquor may be assisted by a police officer, with or without the person’s consent, to the person’s residence or to a facility. For purposes of this section, to determine whether or not a person is incapacitated, the police officer may request the person to submit to reasonable tests of coordination, coherency of speech and breath. Only when such tests indicate that the person is incapacitated shall the person be placed into protective custody and immediately transferred to the person’s residence or to a facility for treatment. Whenever a police officer assists a person under the age of 18 in accordance with this section, the police officer shall notify the parent or guardian of that person forthwith.
No person assisted in accordance with this section shall be held in protective custody at a police station or against the person’s will; provided, however, that a police officer may hold an incapacitated person in protective custody while attempting to locate that person’s residence or a facility or when transporting an incapacitated person to that person’s residence or a facility.
A police officer acting in accordance with this section may use such force as is reasonably necessary to carry out the officer’s authorized responsibilities. If the police officer reasonably believes that the officer’s safety or the safety of other persons present so requires, the officer may search the person being assisted and that person’s immediate surroundings but only to the extent necessary to discover and seize any items or dangerous weapons which may, on that occasion, pose a danger to the person, the officer or other persons present. Any items taken shall be inventoried and returned to the person when the person is no longer incapacitated.
A person assisted in accordance with this section shall not be considered to have been arrested or to have been charged with any crime. An entry of custody shall be made indicating the date, time, place of custody, the name of the assisting officer and the name of the officer in charge. No such entry shall be treated as an arrest or criminal record for any purpose.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect as of July 1, 2016.
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