The American Red Cross has announced that June 1st through 7th is National CPR and AED Awareness Week in the United States. The week is intended to spread education and awareness about the importance of undergoing CPR and AED (automated external defibrillator) training in order to perhaps save a loved one who is experiencing an adverse medical event. Most cardiac arrests and similar medical emergencies happen either at work or at home and there is often not enough time for emergency medical personnel to arrive on the scene to resuscitate the suffering victim. If there is someone in the home or workplace who knows how to perform CPR or how to use an AED, the chances of survival greatly improve.
However, in order to perform CPR or use an AED, you must have the proper training and be sufficiently confident in your skills. Both of these procedures can cause serious injury to victims if an improperly trained person tries them. An unqualified person may even be subjected to criminal liability for attempting CPR or AED without actually knowing what they are doing.
Resuscitating a drunk person
Alcohol poisoning is one common reason why an individual may need CPR or AED, especially in homes or on college campuses. Drinking too much alcohol may affect a person’s ability to breathe through respiratory arrest, may cause seizures, or may induce cardiac arrest. If you believe that a loved one is experiencing any of these dangerous health issues as a result of drinking too much alcohol and you have been properly trained, you should be prepared to administer CPR and call emergency medical personnel to dispatch immediately.
Should a drunk person perform CPR or use an AED?
No matter how well-trained a person may be in CPR or AED, their ability to properly aid a victim may be impaired if they have had too much to drink. Though they believe they are only trying to help, intoxicated individuals may be exposing themselves to both criminal and civil liability if they perform CPR or use an AED on a person experiencing a medical emergency and cause them injury.
Colorado law defines criminal negligence as a “gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise” that causes them to fail “to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk that a result will occur or that a circumstance exists.” In many cases, prosecutors will argue that attempting to perform CPR while impaired by alcohol constitutes criminal negligence and may bring charges against you. Even if you were simply trying to save a life, you may find yourself arrested and in criminal court. For this reason, you should not attempt to use an AED or perform CPR after you have been drinking.
Contact an experienced Colorado criminal defense lawyer for help today
If you are arrested and charged as a result of performing CPR while drunk or any other type of alcohol-related offense, you should not delay in calling the Tiftickjian Law Firm in Denver for assistance. Call 303-DUI-5280 to find out how we can help you today.