Florida Gov. DeSantis signs ‘Andrew’s Law’, enacting tougher hazing measures

by Byron Dobson, Tallahassee Democrat


Gov. Ron DeSantis late Tuesday signed into law tougher measures against hazing that were sparked in part by loopholes discovered following the November 2017 death of Florida State University student Andrew Coffey.

Senate Bill 1008, known as “Andrew’s Law,” adds teeth to Florida’s existing hazing statute that made hazing that causes serious injury or death a third-degree felony in Florida.

It was among the first laws nationwide to make hazing a felony rather than a misdemeanor, said Miami attorney David Bianchi, who helped write Florida’s initial hazing law and was instrumental in wording the enhanced legislation.

‘Andrew’s Law’ makes hazing a felony

The new law makes fraternity and sorority leaders who plan a hazing event, but do not personally attend the event, criminally liable when someone is seriously hurt or killed. 

It also provides that the first person who calls 911 to summon help for a hazing victim and anyone administering aid to the victim while waiting for help to arrive will not be prosecuted.

Also, if a student renders assistance to a victim while waiting for EMS to arrive, that person will not be criminally prosecuted.



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