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Senate passes immunity for breaking into car to help people, but not pets

Bill passed by Idaho Senate Thursday would extend immunity from civil and criminal liability to those rendering "certain aid" to a person inside a motor vehicle. (KBOI photo)

If you're thinking twice about breaking a car window to help someone who appears to be having trouble inside, a bill passed by the Idaho Senate Thursday could make you think again.

The bill would extend immunity from civil and criminal liability to those rendering "certain aid" to a person inside a motor vehicle.

Supporters of this bill say they were motivated by the frequent deaths of young children in hot cars during the summer.

The bill says the person coming to help must have a "reasonable, good-faith belief" that the other person is in imminent danger of suffering death or serious bodily harm.

And it further states, if feasible, they must call law enforcement before or immediately after entering the vehicle.

This bill overwhelmingly passed the Senate and heads to the House.

That was not the case for a similar bill to provide immunity for those who might break a car window to rescue a pet that appears in trouble.

The Senate drew a line there and the pet rescue bill was defeated in a close 18 to 17 vote.

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