"Affluenza" Sufficient Defense To Avoid Prison After DUI Crash Kills Four

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
affluenza sufficient defense to avoid prison after dui crash kills four

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.”

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  • Namesakeone Namesakeone on Dec 13, 2013

    Since he cannot be prosecuted a second time for vehicular manslaughter, I wonder if he can be prosecuted for the felony of stealing the beer from that Wal Mart. Maybe it's possible that he may serve some time--not as much as he deserves, but some time just the same. It's sort of like O. J. Simpson; he didn't serve time for the murders, but was prosecuted heavily later for the unrelated issue with the armed robbery.

    • Gearhead77 Gearhead77 on Dec 13, 2013

      Reminds me of the Chris Rock line about OJ. " If he had been Orenthal James Simpson, bus driver, he'd be in prison."

  • Jeffzekas Jeffzekas on Dec 13, 2013

    Rich kid gets off: reminds me of Patricia Hearst, though even SHE did jail time!

  • Aaron2013 Aaron2013 on Dec 13, 2013

    this is a disgusting story. if the driver's parents were lower middle class, the young sociopath would be in jail. the parents and the judge deserve to burn in hell.

  • -Nate -Nate on Dec 13, 2013

    " All kids push the limits when they’re growing up. It doesn’t mean they’re bad people ; finding the limits is just a natural part of growing up. It’s when the adult world, starting with the parents , doesn’t push back that big problems start to develop . " _THIS_ . I know first hand as we take in teenaged Foster boys , very few are actually bad boys but almost to a man their worthless parents wanted to " be their friend " so the poor damn kids think that because they're they , anything they say or do , no matter how inappropriate , is O.K. and there will never , _EVER_ be any consequences . Then we get them and enroll them in school and try to make them understand things are different now and we're pretty much their last stop before loserville poverty and despair for life . Most of the time they respond very well indeed to clearly defined limits and rules . Sadly one who I truly believe is a good kid , came home to - day in handcuffs and will soon be part of a group home full of criminals , we'll get the tearful 'phone calls begging to come back to us but it'll be too later as when they screw the pooch with us , they affect the other boys so we can't allow them to return . Such waste of life and almost always the parents fault . -Nate