Affluenza is defined as, ̈an inability to understand the consequences of one’s actions because of financial privilege ̈, which was the case for Ethan Anthony Couch. This young American boy received ten years of juvenile probation on account of four manslaughters and injuring nine persons while driving drunk. Not only was he driving drunk but he was also driving under a restricted license. His sentence was ridiculous for the amount of deaths and injuries he caused. If he was tried as an adult he could have faced a minimum of 36 years in federal state prison.
In Dec. of 2013, Judge Jean Hudson Boyd sentenced Couch to ten years of probation and intensive therapy, at a long term inpatient facility. His plead was that he suffered from a “mental disease” called affluenza. The court determined this because Couch was unable to link bad actions with consequences because his parents his whole life taught him that wealth buys privilege. For example, when Couch was thirteen his father let him drive to school at Anderson Private School. When the school got involved Couch’s father threatened to buy the school.
Although his probation was supposed to last ten years, including that he not drink or use any other paraphernalia, in early Dec. of 2015 word reached authorities that a video on Twitter showed Couch violating his probation by playing beer pong. This meant that Couch could face up to ten years in prison due to the consumption of alcohol. A warrant was sentenced for his arrest, but his probation officer was not able to locate Couch. There was a fugitive hunt for him and his mother when they were reported missing on Dec. 18 of 2015. The fugitive hunt led the authorities to offer $5,000 for any information leading to the whereabouts of the two.
The two were found in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico. As soon as the authorities found them they were transported to Guadalajara for deportation back to the United States. Crouch appealed his case in court and won a delay in his deportation and was sent to a correctional facility in Mexico City while his mother was sent on the plan back to Los Angeles. She was tried with a million dollar bail but after a transfer back to Tarrant County, the judge brought it down to $75,000 dollars and she was released from jail on Jan. 12, 2016. According to affluenza the phrase, “money can’t buy happiness”, is accurate in this disturbing case.