FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2016
Contact: Heather Wedel, MADD
MADD Launches #FightAffluenza Petition for Ethan Couch Case to Be Transferred to Adult Court
DALLAS – Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) today launched a petition demanding Ethan Couch’s case be moved from juvenile to adult court during his transfer hearing scheduled on January 19. The petition went live today at madd.org/fightaffluenza.
“Couch has been found, and everything possible must be done to hold him accountable and to ensure that Couch has no more victims,” 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. Four people were killed and several injured, and Couch continues to show no remorse and blatant disregard for the law.”
MADD is asking for 30,000 signatures by January 19 to provide to the prosecution prior to Couch’s transfer hearing in Tarrant County, Texas. 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. MADD is asking media to share the petition across the nation, and for family and friends to share the petition on social media.
“Time and time again MADD hears stories where the drunk driving offender only receives a slap on the wrist, and enough is enough. Enough excuses. Enough second chances. The families impacted will never get a second chance to see their loved ones, or to stop injuries from happening,” continued Sheehey-Church. “The national attention in the Couch case must be used to start a larger conversation about the country’s complacency on drunk driving. Our hearts are broken for the hundreds of thousands of victims who have been killed or injured. MADD cares, and if you do too, join us to fight affluenza, sign the petition, and join MADD in our mission to end drunk driving.”
For those personally impacted by the Couch case, or any one impacted by drunk driving, drugged driving and underage drinking consequences, MADD Victim Services are available at no charge, serving one person every fifteen minutes through local victim advocates and MADD’s 24-Hour Victim Helpline, 1-877-Help-MADD.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every fifteen minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end drunk driving through increased law enforcement, all offender ignition interlock laws and advanced vehicle technology. PowerTalk 21® is the national day for parents to talk with their teens about alcohol, using Power of Parents®’ proven approach to reduce underage drinking. Learn more by visiting madd.org or calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.
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Editor’s Note: Interviews with MADD spokespeople are available. Please contact Heather Wedel, MADD PR Specialist at Heather.Wedel@madd.org or 469-420-4544.