There are few driving under the influence (DUI) cases that have resulted in outrage like the affluenza case has. Ethan Couch will go down in infamy as the teen who killed 4 people and walked away with 10 years of probation, all because his lawyers say he grew up too rich to understand right or wrong.
That penalty would have been enough to cause outrage, but when he was caught drinking on camera and he skipped a meeting with his parole officer to head to Mexico with his mother, the public really wasn’t buying it. He was found a short time later and is waiting to be deported, and because his mother helped him hide, she’s now in jail.
According to lawyers who know the case, the most Couch will serve would be 120 days in prison because he was charged in a juvenile court and he won’t be moved into adult court. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) doesn’t think that’s a proper penalty for anyone involved in a drunk driving crash, and they began asking everyone to sign a petition to #FightAffluenza in preparation for a January 19th hearing.
Within 24 hours they had 30,000 signatures, and they’ve been pushing toward their next goal of 60,000 signatures. According to the petition page, MADD feels that Couch should be treated as an adult because he is an adult, and there should be no more excuses like the affluenza defense.
If Couch is not bumped up to adult court and properly penalized for killing four people while drunk driving, the outrage will continue. What’s worse though is what could happen if he continually uses the affluenza excuse for his actions. If he gets off easy again, he may decide to drink and drive, and if he does he could end up taking another life in the process.
Although the January 19th deadline has passed for 60,000 signatures, you can watch MADD’s progress on their #FightAffluenza page.