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By Frosty Wooldridge
December 20, 2013

This year, Houston, Texas resident, Ethan Couch, a 16 year old, rich, spoiled brat drank himself into three times the allowable limit to drive a car—and drove over five people walking across a crosswalk. He killed four and placed the fifth in a paralyzed state for the rest of his life.

His exceptionally rich father paid huge bucks to get him off “Scott Free” without a day in jail via the “Affluenza defense.” What exactly constitutes such an absurd defense?

If you enjoy filthy rich parents who failed to parent you to become a responsible citizen and driver, you get a free pass from an ordinarily 20 year prison sentence because “You are so rich that you didn’t realize what you were doing.”

The Associated Press reported, “Authorities said the teen and friends were seen on surveillance video stealing two cases of beer from a store. Couch had seven passengers in his Ford F-350, was speeding and had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit. His truck slammed into the four pedestrians, killing Brian Jennings, 43, Breanna Mitchell, 24, Shelby Boyles, 21, and her mother, Hollie Boyles, 52.”

This “get off free because your parents are rich” defense shows how irresponsible our country has become on multiple levels. If you walk into our U.S. Congress, you find entrenched corruption beyond anything imaginable. The late Teddy Kennedy killed Mary Jo Koepeckne, lied and got of completely without consequences. He continued on his drinking binges, cheating on his wives and lying to the American people to his last breath.

No doubt, Eathan Couch uses Kennedy for a role model.

Each hour in America, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers estimates that 14 million Americans drive while intoxicated: drunk.

The results show up in 10,000—17,000 deaths and tens of thousands of debilitating injuries annually on our nation’s highways.

MADD compiled the following figures:

Almost every 90 seconds, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash.

If all 17 million people who admitted to driving drunk had their own state, it would be the fifth largest in the U.S.

Drunk driving costs the United States $132 billion a year.

Drunk driving costs each adult in this country almost $500 per year.

50 to 75 percent of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license.

An average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before first arrest.

Adults drank too much and drive about 112 million times per year - almost 300,000 incidents of drinking and driving a day.

Every day in America, another 28 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes.

In 2012, 10,322 people died in drunk driving crashes - one every 51 minutes.

Do you think Ethan Couch suffers any regrets? Will he reform? He’s already an alcoholic and privileged person at age 16. His parents cast his dye.

What can our society do to stop drunk driving and its deadly sister endear-ling called “texting”?

MADD cut drunken driving deaths in half since 30 years ago, but that still doesn’t stop millions upon millions from driving drunk every day. In other words, we still enable drunk drivers because we don’t make it more prohibitive to drink and drive.

Texting while driving

The number of people killed in distraction-affected crashes decreased slightly from 3,360 in 2011 to 3,328 in 2012. An estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.
11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. For drivers 15-19 years old involved in fatal crashes, 21 percent of the distracted drivers were distracted by the use of cell phones. (NHTSA)
At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010. (NOPUS)

I propose a whole new approach: when you earn your driver’s license at 16 or 18, you sign a document and you’re video-taped for total proof:

I, Ethan Couch, Teddy Kennedy, Joe Six Pack, understand that if I drink, use drugs or do texting while driving, and I am caught or involved in an accident, I will automatically lose my driver’s license for five years, lose my car to impound for the same period, which I will have to pay for storage fees for the entire five years loss of the car, and pay a $20,000.00 automatic fine. My insurance will be an automatic $10,000.00 a year after my first drunken driving stop.

If I am caught a second time drinking, using drugs or texting, I will suffer the loss of my driver’s license for 10 years, loss of car to impound, $40,000.00 automatic fine, $20,000.00 annually for car insurance upon the end of the 10 years. If I am found driving under a suspended license, I automatically go to jail for three to five years.

If I am caught a third time, I lose my driving privileges for life. If I am caught driving after that point, I face a 5 to 10 year jail sentence.

Signed: Joe Six Pack, Teddy Kennedy, Ethan Couch.

That should put a dent in the drunk, drug and texting crowd preying on innocent drivers like the rest of us every day. We need to make the consequences much more difficult instead of the stuff going on right now across this nation that gives men like Teddy Kennedy a free pass for killing a young innocent girl and Ethan Couch a free pass for killing four people.

The reason I don’t drink: my Uncle Gordon, Uncle Scott, Uncle Earl and Aunt Jane drank themselves into oblivion daily. They drove drunk, they drove crazy, they drove on the wrong side of the road up hills, they terrified me to the point I stopped riding with them for fear of dying in a crash. I never could speak to them because they were always “out of their minds.”

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Until and unless, we get serious about drinking, drugging and texting while driving, we will see countless thousands of deaths and countless more innocent people suffer because we refuse to get serious about someone getting behind the wheel of a 4,000 pound torpedo and crashing it into our bodies.

[Join me, Frosty Wooldridge, with Dave Chaffin, host of the Morning Zone at 650 AM,, Cheyenne, Wyoming every Monday 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., as we discuss my latest commentaries on about issues facing America. You may stream the show on your computer. You may call in at: 1-888-503-6500.]

© 2013 Frosty Wooldridge - All Rights Reserved

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Frosty Wooldridge possesses a unique view of the world, cultures and families in that he has bicycled around the globe 100,000 miles, on six continents and six times across the United States in the past 30 years. His published books include: "HANDBOOK FOR TOURING BICYCLISTS"; “STRIKE THREE! TAKE YOUR BASE”; “IMMIGRATION’S UNARMED INVASION: DEADLY CONSEQUENCES”; “MOTORCYCLE ADVENTURE TO ALASKA: INTO THE WIND—A TEEN NOVEL”; “BICYCLING AROUND THE WORLD: TIRE TRACKS FOR YOUR IMAGINATION”; “AN EXTREME ENCOUNTER: ANTARCTICA.” His next book: “TILTING THE STATUE OF LIBERTY INTO A SWAMP.” He lives in Denver, Colorado.












MADD cut drunken driving deaths in half since 30 years ago, but that still doesn’t stop millions upon millions from driving drunk every day. In other words, we still enable drunk drivers because we don’t make it more prohibitive to drink and drive.