Teen Drunk Driver Too Rich To Be Held Responsible For Killing Four

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On June 15th, three people stopped to help a stranded car on the side of the road when they were hit by a drunk driver. The drunk driver survived, but he killed the four people, and paralyzed one of his passengers. Why is he not in jail? Because he's too rich to control his own actions.


I first saw this story on The Truth About Cars, which rightly points out that "affluenza" is a sufficient defense for killing four people and paralyzing another.

Sixteen-year-old Ethan Couch had a BAC of 0.24, which would be three times the legal limit, if Ethan was even old enough to drink, RT reports. He was doing 70 in a 40 zone in his family's Ford F-350, Fox 4 News reports and he had THC, valium, muscle relaxants in his system, the Dallas News reports. One of his passengers broke many bones, while 16-year-old Sergio Molina was thrown from the bed and remains paralyzed to the point that he can only use his eyes to communicate. The prosecution asked State District Judge Jean Boyd for a 20-year sentence. Instead, Ethan isn't going to jail at all.

He's going to Newport Beach, California for $450,000 worth of therapy for his addictions. That is how he will start his mandated ten years of probation.

And if you think that this kid is a sweet, delicate flower, who has no idea what his family's money entitles him to, new trial notes indicate otherwise, the NY Daily News reports.

"I'm Ethan Couch. I'll get you out of this." That's what he told one of his passengers in the aftermath of the crash. This is before Ethan fled the scene of the accident on foot, where he was later found.

Ethan's defense said that the kid was emotionally unstable thanks to his wealthy upbringing, deeming it "affluenza," RT reports.


Eric Boyles, the father who lost his wife and daughter in the crash, had this to say in the trial regarding Ethan's light sentence.

"Money always seems to keep Ethan out of trouble. This was one time I did ask the court for justice and for money not to prevail."


The paralyzed Sergio Molina's brother offered a similarly fitting pronouncement at the trial.

"That kid killed four people and crippled my little brother and doesn't even have to serve one year? If he were poor like us, he would've gotten 10 years, I bet."


Photo Credit: WFAA News



Disclaimer: I am not sanctioning this kids actions. I think he belongs in jail.

I asked my girlfriend about this (a lawyer). She pointed out that the fact that he was given ten years probation means that he was prosecuted and lost the case. The fact that he got no jail time was a factor of his age as a minor. Now that's not saying it a high powered attorney wasn't helpful in keeping him out of jail/juvenile centers but he was technically prosecuted. It also leaves the other familes able to sue in civil court to which they get damages.

OBVIOUSLY no amount of money will bring back a loved one and yes I believe that ten years of probation is too light of a sentence, but I did want to point out that he was prosecuted. The Affluenza defense didn't hold up.