Ethan Couch, known as the “affluenza teenager”, is on his way back to the United States after fleeing to Mexico and being caught by authorities. With the case catching national headlines, the press is once again talking about how victims and families are affected by drunk driving accidents. Ethan Couch was 16 years old when he was sentenced to 10 years of probation for a drunk driving accident that killed four people and injured 12 others. One of his victims was paralyzed and can now only communicate by blinking.
Unfortunately, cases much like this one are common. We briefly discussed this topic in a blog two weeks ago, but more needs to be said.
Accident survivors and family members face both monetary and emotional struggles. The teenager hurt by Ethan Couch will not only have millions of dollars in medical and rehabilitation bills, but decades of lost income potential in addition to pain and suffering. The two parents will always have to provide for the needs of their son, at a great expense to their personal time and finances. They can no longer communicate with their son and may never hear his voice again. These parents may never see him attend a wedding, college, or achieve other life milestones, all because someone made the choice to drink and drive.
Drunk Driving Accident Victims Deserve Justice
Recent drunk driving accidents here in Louisiana remind us that we can be at the mercy of another person’s poor decision making. A 45-year-old New Orleans man was hit and killed by a drunk driver on Christmas Eve while crossing a street. A family was forced to mourn the loss of a loved one instead of spending time together during the holidays. These stories are sad, but they are also important reminders why it is essential for the victims of drunk driving accidents to receive justice.
Update: New information suggests Ethan Couch could be in Mexico for several more months before coming back to the U.S.