It’s quite evident that drinking and driving are a deadly combination and the consequences for victims of alcohol-related car crashes are always very bad. A judge in Texas has ordered a teenager, who was sentenced to 10 years probation in a drunken-driving crash that killed four people and injured several others to go to a rehabilitation facility to be paid for by his parents. On Feb. 5, Judge Jean Boyd once again gave no jail time to Ethan Couch. Prosecutors had asked Judge Boyd to sentence Couch to 20 years in state custody.
This controversial sentence has caused fierce debate in Texas. Also the testimony of a defense expert who maintained that Couch’s wealthy parents “coddled him into a sense of irresponsibility” has been widely criticized. This expert termed the condition “affluenza” and it was used as a defense in the case. The boy’s family previously had offered to pay for the teenager to go to a $450,000-a-year rehabilitation center near Newport Beach, Calif. Couch, under his sentence, is expected to receive alcohol and drug rehabilitation. He could face prison time if he runs away from the facility or violates any other terms of his probation.
According to Riley Shaw, the prosecutor in the case, there is no minimum amount of time Couch must spend in the facility before his release. Couch’s defense lawyer blasted the news media and the public for their focus on “affluenza,” saying that his client was “misunderstood.” I have to wonder how the families of the victims react to that type of “defense” of wrongdoing.
It should be noted that Couch’s blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit for an adult. There were also traces of Valium in his system when he lost control of his pickup truck and crashed into a group of people who were helping a woman whose car had stalled. Seven passengers were riding in Couch’s truck. One of them, Sergio Molina, is paralyzed and can communicate only by blinking. Another, Solimon Mohmand, suffered numerous broken bones and internal injuries. Sadly, there were four people killed in the crash.
Regardless of the age or position of the drunk driver, I believe some jail time should be imposed for this type offense. Also, parents must share some of the blame for the actions of their children. In one year – 2012 – 10,322 people were killed in drunk driving crashes. That’s one person every 51 minutes. Many of the offenders were youngsters. This is a major safety problem that can’t be ignored.
Source: Claims Journal
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.