New laws targeting texting and driving, hurting police K-9's go into effect Oct. 1

Florida continues to crack down on texting and driving and starting Oct. 1, the laws are getting tougher.

Beginning Tuesday, motorists are prohibited from using hand-held wireless devices while driving in designated school zones and work zones. 

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"You can't have the phone in your hand at all," Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Derrick Rahming told the Orlando Sentinel. "The only thing you can do is talk on a hands-free device. If you are holding a phone or any kind of device, you will be stopped, and you will be issued a warning."

However, drivers should not expect to be ticketed for the hand-held device law until the new year, the Sentinel states.

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In addition to the hand-held device law, 27 new Florida laws will got into effect on Oct. 1.

Some of the new laws include: 

Child-like sex dolls: The law (SB 160), in part, makes it a first-degree misdemeanor to sell, give away or show child-like sex dolls. The charge increases to a third-degree felony on subsequent violations.

Police K-9's and horses: Anyone who kills or causes great bodily harm to a police, fire, or search-and-rescue dog or police horse could be charged with a second-degree felony, up from a third-degree felony. Prison time for the violation is being boosted from five years to 15 years.

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Hazing: A new anti-hazing law was created after Florida State University fraternity pledge Andrew Coffey died in 2017 after drinking a bottle of Wild Turkey bourbon that had been taped to his hand. Hazing that results in a permanent injury will now be a third-degree felony.