'Affluenza' Teen Ethan Couch Target of MADD Petition Demanding Move to Adult Court

Mothers Against Drunk Driving wants 30,000 signatures by next Tuesday.

January 11, 2016, 3:15 PM

— -- Mothers Against Drunk Driving is organizing a petition demanding that “affluenza” teen Ethan Couch’s case be moved to adult court.

“Justice has to be served, Ethan. And it's time. You're not a kid,” MADD president Colleen Sheehey-Church told ABC News. “You cannot get away with killing four people and seriously injuring others without some sort of consequences.”

Couch, who killed four people during a drunken-driving accident in 2013, was sentenced to 10 years’ probation after a defense witness testified that the teen suffered from “affluenza,” which he used to describe Ethan's irresponsible lifestyle associated with his affluent upbringing.

Two years later, a video surfaced appearing to show Couch cheering on friends playing beer pong – a potential violation of his probation – and Couch and his mother fled last month to Mexico, where authorities detained the pair on Dec. 28.

The Tarrant County District Attorney in Texas has said she plans to ask a judge to move the 18-year-old’s case to adult court, meaning he could spend up to 120 days in jail for violation of probation. He remains in a Mexican migrant holding facility after filing papers for a stay of deportation. (Meanwhile, his mother, Tonya Couch, has been charged with hindering the apprehension of a felon and has been returned to Texas, via California. She has not entered a plea but her lawyers have said she did not break any Texas laws.)

MADD is hoping to collect 30,000 signatures, which they’ll turn over to the prosecution, in support of the D.A.’s goal.

“Unless [Couch] gets some great help and gets incarcerated for a while to learn a lesson, we're always worried about somebody getting out and doing the same thing over and over again,” Sheehey-Church, the president, added.

“We see it time and time again, where we hear about drunk driving offenders only receiving a slap on the wrist. And really MADD is saying, enough is enough,” she said. “Enough excuses. Enough second chances.”