2019 Bills

HB 170: Criminalizing the Failure to Call 911

This bill failed in the House 26-44. 

Libertas Institute opposes this bill

Staff review of this legislation finds that it violates our principles and should be opposed.

Should a person have a “duty to assist” somebody in need, to the point that failure to do so leads to criminal charges?

Under current law, such a person would not be prosecuted. However, Representative Brian King has sponsored House Bill 170 which would make it a criminal offense for a person to not call 911 in an emergency involving a serious bodily injury if they are able to do so.

Allowing a prosecutor to later seek punishment for a person who made a bad moral judgment, but who did not necessarily intend to aid in the continued injury of the person, is a bad policy decision that unnecessarily criminalizes Utahns who find themselves in such a circumstance.