The judge in the case of Ethan Couch, 17, has reaffirmed that the affluenza teen will not serve any jail time for killing four people while driving drunk with a blood alcohol level that was three times the legal limit in Texas, where he resides.
Couch was driving drunk when he rammed his pickup truck into a group of innocent people that were trying to help a woman with a stalled car. He killed four people, including a woman and her daughter. Police have stated he was going 70 in a 40 mph zone while driving intoxicated at three times the legal limit in Texas. While minors in Texas are allowed to drink alcohol under the direct supervision of their parents, surprisingly enough, his parents were not in the car with him supervising while he was driving drunk.
During his trial, Couch’s high-dollar attorneys argued that Couch is rich and has grown up with entitlements that have prevented him from learning the meaning of responsibility and lead to him developing a poor sense of judgment. They claimed that affluenza caused Couch to kill the four people while driving drunk, because he has no sense of responsibility. The attorneys blamed Couch’s parents for coddling him and providing him with an entitled childhood, however there was no effort made to punish Couch’s parents for inflicting their son with the affluenza that supposedly caused this crash. While blood tests did show Couch’s blood alcohol level content was at .24, it did not reveal what his affluenza level was at.
Believe it or not, this is not an Onion article, and this was not Couch’s first offense. Months prior to killing the four victims while driving drunk, Couch was cited for being a minor in possession of alcohol and consuming alcohol as a minor. He did not plead the affluneza defense in that case, he merely pled no contest. Because his affluenza infection was not mentioned during that case, it is unknown if he was afflicted with the condition at that point in time. For the drunk-driving case regarding the four people he killed, Couch has been sentenced to a mere 10 years of probation, an incredibly light sentence given the nature of this crime.
While Couch may never see the inside of a jail cell, hopefully the families of the victims are able to sue the pants off his family and cure him and his parents of affluenza permanently. The judge in the criminal trial may not want to help Couch learn the meaning of responsibility, but a jury could by awarding the families of the victims with large settlements taken directly out of the dirty pockets of the Couch family. While this won’t bring back the victims of the crime, at least it would show others who suffer from affluenza that being rich isn’t a get out of jail free card.
Filed under: Advice