TITLE 23
Health and Safety

CHAPTER 23-1.10
Alcoholism

SECTION 23-1.10-10


§ 23-1.10-10 Treatment and services for intoxicated persons and persons incapacitated by alcohol.

(a) An intoxicated person may come voluntarily to an approved public treatment facility for emergency treatment. A person who appears to be intoxicated in a public place and to be in need of help, if he or she consents to the proffered help, may be assisted to his or her home, an approved public treatment facility, an approved private treatment facility, or other health facility by the police.

(b) A person who appears to be incapacitated by alcohol shall be taken into protective custody by the police and immediately brought to an approved public treatment facility for emergency treatment. If no approved public treatment facility is readily available, he or she shall be taken to an emergency medical service customarily used for incapacitated persons. The police, in detaining the person and in taking him or her to an approved public treatment facility, are taking him or her into protective custody and shall make every reasonable effort to protect his or her health and safety. In taking the person into protective custody, the detaining officer may take reasonable steps to protect himself or herself. If it is impracticable to take a person to an approved facility, the police may take him or her into protective custody in the police station in suitable quarters, for a reasonable time. A taking into protective custody under this section is not an arrest. No entry or other record shall be made to indicate that the person has been arrested or charged with a crime.

(c) A person who comes voluntarily or is brought to an approved public treatment facility shall be examined by a licensed physician as soon as possible. He or she may then be admitted as a patient or referred to another health facility, or be released to his or her own custody. The referring approved public treatment facility shall arrange for his or her transportation as provided for in § 23-1.10-9(d).

(d) A person who by medical examination is found to be incapacitated by alcohol at the time of his or her admission or to have become incapacitated at any time after his or her admission, may not be detained at the facility: (1) once he or she is no longer incapacitated by alcohol, or (2) if he or she remains incapacitated by alcohol for more than five (5) days after admission as a patient, unless he or she is committed under § 23-1.10-11. A person may consent to remain in the facility for as long as the physician in charge believes appropriate.

(e) A person who is not admitted to an approved public treatment facility, who is not referred to another health facility, and who has no funds may be taken to his or her home, if any. If he or she has no home, the approved public treatment facility shall refer or advise him or her to make contact with the appropriate state or federal agency for assistance in obtaining shelter.

(f) If a patient is admitted to an approved public treatment facility, his or her family or next-of-kin shall be notified as promptly as possible if requested by the patient. If an adult patient who is not incapacitated requests that there be no notification, his or her request shall be respected.

(g) The police, who act in compliance with this section, are acting in the course of their official duty and are not criminally or civilly liable for acting in the course of their official duty.

(h) If the physician in charge of the approved public treatment facility determines it is for the patient's benefit, the patient shall be encouraged to agree to further diagnosis and appropriate voluntary treatment.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1972, ch. 130, § 1; P.L. 1973, ch. 186, § 1; P.L. 1973, ch. 196, § 1; P.L. 1984, ch. 122, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 40.1-4-10; P.L. 1995, ch. 370, art. 14, § 4.)