Ethan Couch, Man Who Used 'Affluenza' Defense for Killing 4 People in DUI Crash, Jailed in Texas

Ethan Couch, who first made headlines as the infamous "affluenza teen," has been jailed in Texas for violating the terms of his probation. Court records show that Couch tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and was booked into a Fort Worth jail, according to CBS News.

Couch's attorneys, Scott Brown and Reagan Wynn, said they were waiting to "conduct an investigation" of their own, adding that their client "has never been positive for the use of any substance" during his past 20 months on probation.

"We cannot make any further statement until we have the opportunity to conduct an investigation to determine if, in fact, Ethan ingested THC and, if so, if it was a voluntary act on his part," the attorneys said in a statement.

Now 22, Couch first made headlines after a 2013 automobile crash that killed four people and injured nine others. After a night of drinking, he got behind the wheel and veered into a crowd of people helping the driver of a disabled vehicle on the side of the road. When police arrived, he was found to have more than three times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood and was later estimated to be going 70 mph in a 40 mph zone.

A psychologist famously told a juvenile court that Couch, then 16, suffered from "affluenza," an innate sense of irresponsibility due to familial wealth. As a result, and amid much criticism, Couch was sentenced to 10 years of probation later that same year. However, after he was spotted drinking at a party in late 2015, he later fled to Mexico with his mother to avoid punishment. He was sentenced to a two-year jail sentence in April of 2016 and was later released in 2018.


The treatment of Couch throughout the ordeal has continued to draw criticism, and along with Brock Turner, has made him something of a figurehead when discussing the lenient sentences offered to predominantly white, often wealthy individuals regardless of their crime.

Couch's mother, Tonya, is currently awaiting trial on charges of hindering the apprehension of a felon and money laundering as a result of her absconding with her son to Mexico just over four years ago. Meanwhile, his father, Fred, was charged back in September with assault after being accused of choking his girlfriend in July.