FORT WORTH, TX – If you drive anywhere in Texas, you’ve probably seen the “DWI, you can’t afford it” sign. But we’ve got news for you. If you drive drunk, kill four people in the process, and you’re Ethan Couch, you can afford it.
A judge sentenced the 16-year-old to ten years’ probation — with no jail time — for the drunken-driving wreck he caused last summer just south of Fort Worth in Burleson.
Prosecutors wanted him to go to prison for 20 years. But, Couch’s defense says he’s a victim of “affluenza,” or living a life of luxury and never having to pay any real consequences for bad behavior.
“It’s not OK to drink and drive and kill four people and severely injure another and not have any consequences to that,” said Eric Boyles, who lost his wife and daughter in the accident.
What State District Judge Jean Boyd thinks is an appropriate consequence — long term treatment at an alcohol rehab center. And, since Couch’s parents are ‘well off,’ they’ve decided to send him to a pricey rehab center in California which specializes in, according to the Dallas Morning News, chef-prepared meals, equine therapy, martial-arts training, yoga, nature hikes and oh, teaching Couch that there are consequences for his actions.
“Taking him away from his family and teaching him to be a responsible citizen — that’s a consequence,” said Defense Attorney, Scott Brown.
But for families of the victims, that’s not enough.
“This was one time I did ask the court that for justice and that for money not to prevail, and ultimately today, I felt like money did prevail,” said Boyles.