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“Affluenza” : Is it fair?

For most people, getting into an accident due to drunk driving and causing the lives of others results in jail time and a fine.  However, that was not the case for 16 year old, Ethan Couch.

Ethan Couch is a wealthy 16 year old from Texas who escaped the consequences from causing a fatal wreck due to drunk driving which killed 4 people.  “Couch and his friends stole beer from a local Wal-Mart, jumping into a local pickup truck, and smashed into a woman whose car broke down on a Burleson, Texas road, killing the woman, two people who lived near by to help, and a passerby” Affluenza: Rich Teen Kills 4 in Drunk Driving Accident, Gets Probation

It was revealed that Couch’s blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit resulting in a balance of 0.24.  A consequence like this typically results up to $10,000  and between 2 to 20 years in jail.  However, Couch only received 10 years of probation and no time spent in jail.  Is that fair?

According to lawyers, Couch suffers from “affluenza” which means that his parents let him get away with everything. “He never learned that sometimes you don’t get your way,” Gary Miller, a psychologist assigned to Couch said in court. “He had the cars and he had the money. He had freedoms that no young man would be able to handle.”

Affluenza has symptoms which show a lack of motivation, feelings of guilt, and a sense of isolation.  Eric Boyles, who lost his wife and daughter in the accident, states that Ethan never apologized for the accident, nor did he show any signs of guilt.  ‘Affluenza’ DUI Case: Prosecutors Try Again to Put Teen Behind Bars



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