The Affluenza Kid Takes His Last Joyride

Drunk Driving killer Ethan Couch busted in Mexico.

byMike Guy|
Kktect RV Roof Vent Fan

There are just a few things we hate more than drunk driving. One is drunk driving crashes that kill people, and the second—way lower on the list—is “Affluenza.” Ethan Couch, an 18-year-old rich spoiled brat, killed four people in a 2013 drunk driving wreck and was sentenced to ten years’ probation after using “Affluenza” as a defense.

Earlier this month, a video emerged of Couch apparently hanging out at a house party where other kids were getting drunk—a clear violation of his probation. Soon afterwards, Couch and his mother, Tonya, fled the United States for Mexico, and U. S. Marshals gave chase. They picked him up this week in sunny Puerto Vallarta, where he’d apparently dyed his hair and holed up in a hotel. With his mom.

Aside from getting hit with crippling case of Affluenza, a psychological malaise that affects wealthy children, Couch is a lucky guy. One night in 2013, he was driving his father’s Ford F-350 in Fort Worth, Texas, and picked up two cases of beer from a Wal-Mart. He popped a Valium, drank a shit-ton of beer, and then plowed into and killed a stranded motorist, a good samaritan, her toddler daughter, and a minister.

During Couch’s trial, a psychologist took the stand and testified that Couch, who was 16 at the time, suffered from "affluenza," describing him as a rich kid whose parents didn't set limits for him.

When the giggling from courtroom gallery stopped, the judge swing his gavel. Waving off a request from the prosecutors that Couch be sentenced to 20 years behind bars, the judge opted instead to give him ten years probation.

The decision was controversial at the time, and more so after the recent video appeared to show the teen playing a drinking game at a party. Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson has said the man in the video "certainly looks like him,” but that without further investigation, the video alone doesn’t prove he violated his probation.