At the end of June, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1008—commonly
referred to as “Andrew’s Law”—which toughens measures
against hazing after loopholes were found after the November 2017 death
of Andrew Coffey, a Florida State University junior who died after he
was forced to drink an entire bottle of Wild Turkey Bourbon while pledging
for Pi Kappa Phi.
When Andrew became ill, fraternity members moved him to a couch, instead
of seeking immediate medical attention in fear of facing prosecution.
He was found dead the following morning.
Andrew’s Law made the following changes to Florida’s hazing statute:
Fraternity and sorority leaders who didn’t attend the hazing event
can be prosecuted – Those who coordinate a hazing event, but didn’t personally
show up to the event, can still be held criminally liable if a pledge
or fraternity member suffers a serious or fatal injury.
Fraternity and sorority members who seek help for a hazing victim will
not be prosecuted – The first person who contacts police or emergency medical services
to aid a hazing victim and anyone those attempting to help the victim
while waiting for an ambulance will not be charged.
Hazing a former fraternity or sorority member can lead to criminal charges – The previous statute didn’t address former members, only pledges
and current members of a fraternity or sorority.
In 2005, then-Governor Jeb Bush signed the “Chad Meredith Act”,
which made hazing incidents involving serious injury or death a third-degree
felony, rather than a misdemeanor.
If you have been charged with hazing in Daytona Beach,
contact the Law Offices of Stepniak Park today at (386) 868-4771 and request a complimentary case review.