January 18, 2016
MADD Vows To Fight 'Affluenza' During Ethan Couch Hearing

Now that "Affluenza" mom Tonya Couch is on home detention, and her son, Ethan Couch is still sitting in a Mexican prison, the next step is a hearing that decides whether or not Ethan Couch will be judged as an adult in a Texas court. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has been gathering signatures for a petition and they plan on presenting it on the day of Ethan Couch's hearing.

As previously reported by Inquisitr, Ethan Couch was tried for his crime as a juvenile, but MADD wants to see him charged as an adult. Tonya Couch is on house arrest, living with her son from her first marriage, and has to now undergo a psychiatric evaluation to see if she is sane, and of at least average intelligence. It is believed that Couch might not be able to aid in her defense if she scores as low-normal.

CBS Dallas Fort Worth is reporting that a representative from MADD will attend Ethan Couch's transfer hearing tomorrow. In the hearing, the district attorney will petition to have the "affluenza" afflicted killer's case moved to adult court, so that his probation violation stings a bit more. MADD put out a statement.

"Transferring Couch to adult court gives the criminal justice system the opportunity to hold him accountable by ensuring his probation extends beyond his 19th birthday in April 2016," said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church, whose 18-year-old son Dustin was killed by an underage drunk and drugged driver. "Couch is not a child. His actions are not that of a child, and everything possible must be done to hold him accountable and to ensure that Couch has no more victims."

The petition is called #FightAffluenza, and was signed by 30,000 Texas residents.

Dallas News says that MADD wants to keep adding to the signature count to let the court know that the majority of people believe Ethan Couch needs to be punished as an adult, and the citizens of Texas do not think his being spoiled by his parents should lessen the consequences of his actions.

"Transferring Couch to adult court gives the criminal justice system the opportunity to hold him accountable," MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church said in a statement Monday. "Couch is not a child," she said. "His actions are not that of a child, and everything possible must be done to hold him accountable and to ensure that Couch has no more victims."

If the Couch case is moved to adult court, the next time he violates probation, he will be facing 40 years in prison,

"It's so important to get it transferred to adult court because if he continues to act this way, he can be held accountable," said MADD North Texas executive director Jason Derscheid, who is among those who plan to attend the hearing.

The important point that MADD seems eager to make is that law-abiding members of society think that there is no situation in which it is okay to allow drunk drivers to walk away without punishment. The idea that something like "affluenza" can exempt one from accepting punishment is not acceptable to the group.

For now, Ethan Couch seems to prefer a Mexican prison to returning to Texas; but, he won't be able to fight forever, and the Mexican government has no reason to harbor him.

Do you think that Ethan Couch should be moved to adult court to finally face some punishment?

[Photo courtesy of Government Produced Handout]