Hazing penalties for Georgia colleges pass state Senate

By Beau Evans Capitol Beat News Service


Hazing at Georgia colleges and universities could draw stiffer penalties in a bill that boosts fines and jail time for students who endanger their peers by forced inebriation, physical threats and violence.

The measure, House Bill 423, stems from the 2018 death of Louisiana State University student Max Gruver, who died from alcohol poisoning after being hazed by members of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

Gruver, a 2017 graduate from Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Roswell, was forced to drink liquor for failing to correctly answer fraternity-related trivia questions. His death led to the arrests of several fraternity members and a felony negligent homicide conviction of the ringleader.

The bill passed Thursday, dubbed the “Max Gruver Act,” would make hazing acts that cause serious bodily injury or death a felony under Georgia law, carrying a prison sentence of between one and five years plus a maximum $50,000 fine.