On June 15th of this year, three people who had stopped to help the driver of a stranded vehicle in the Dallas-Fort Worth area were struck by a vehicle driven by sixteen-year-old Ethan Couch. All three people were killed, as was the driver. The two passengers in Ethan’s car were ejected; one suffered from multiple broken bones, while the other was paralyzed to the point that he must now use his eyes to communicate with others.
Testing revealed that Ethan was drunk, with a BAC of .24, and had traces of Valium in his system. The prosecution asked for a twenty-year prison sentence. What they got was something else entirely.
After hearing that Ethan suffered from “affluenza”, and being informed that his parents would pay $450,000 to have his addictions and issues treated at a private center, Judge Jean Boyd imposed a probation-only sentence.
Eric Doyles, whose wife and daughter were killed in the crash, noted that “Money always seems to keep Ethan out of trouble…. (T)his was one time I did ask the court for justice and for money not to prevail.”