New Florida Laws Taking Effect Target Hazing, Texting While Driving

New laws taking effect Tuesday throughout Florida include an anti-hazing law and an expansion to the texting while driving law, among others.

About 27 laws are taking effect Tuesday after about 150 others signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took effect July 1.

SB 1080: Hazing

The bill – dubbed 'Andrew's Law' after Florida State University fraternity pledge Andrew Coffey died in a hazing incident – makes people who organize hazing culpable of the third-degree felony if someone is seriously injured or dies, even if the organizer didn't participate in the event.

The bill also provides immunity for the first person who calls 911 to get help for a hazing victim, even if they were participants in the activity.

HB 107: Texting While Driving

Drivers will be required to drive 'hands-free' in school and work zones – meaning motorists are prohibited from using cell phones in any manner in those areas.

SB 160: Prohibiting Child-Like Sex Dolls

The law makes it a first-degree misdemeanor to knowingly own, sell, give away, distribute or show child-like sex dolls.

SB 96: First Responder Dogs, Horses

The law increases the penalty for "intentionally and knowingly causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or death to, or using a deadly weapon upon, police canines or horses, fire canines, or SAR canines, etc."

SB 910: Court-Ordered Treatment Programs for Veterans

The law expands the eligibility of the Military Veterans and Servicemembers Court Program for "veterans who were discharged or released under any condition, individuals who are current or former United States Department of Defense contractors, and individuals who are current or former military members of a foreign allied country."

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