Section 1. Chapter 6A of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after Section 18K the following section:
§ 18L. Liability for Search and Rescue Response Expenses.
(a) Whenever a government entity engages in a search and rescue operation for the purpose of searching for or rescuing a person, and incurs search and rescue expenses therein, the government entity may seek reimbursement from:
(1) the person for whom the search and rescue operation was conducted; or
(2) a person who knowingly provided false information that led to a search and rescue operation.
(b) The government entity may collect an amount not greater than the total cost of search and rescue expenses. Search and rescue expenses include, but are not limited to:
(1) any and all actual hourly wages, salaries, and employment-related benefits of persons
participating in a search or rescue operation;
(2) any and all equipment costs, including rental, lease, use, repair, and/or replacement costs of equipment used in a search or rescue operation;
(3) any and all fuel expenses incident to a search or rescue operation; and
(4) any and all other expenses relating to a search and rescue operation.
(c) A government entity may obtain reimbursement under this section only when the person for whom the search and rescue operation was conducted:
(1) recklessly or intentionally created a situation requiring an emergency response; or
(2) negligently operated a motor vehicle, boat, off highway recreational vehicle, or aircraft while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or controlled drug and thereby proximately caused any incident resulting in a public agency response.
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