Teen drink driver avoids jail after 'affluenza' defence

An affluent Texan teenager who killed four people while driving drunk was sentenced to 10 years probation and ordered to get therapy, despite the prosecution seeking a 20 year jail term.

A psychologist for the defence said the teen suffered from "affluenza", a condition where a person feels shielded from problems by money and having led a life of privilege paid for by his parents, local media reported.

Four people were killed in June. Credit: NBC News

The decision by a Texas court has sparked a backlash and complaints of a miscarriage of justice.

The teen driver had three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system at the time of arrest, prosecutors said.

He was driving a pick-up truck when he ran down four people who were helping fix a vehicle at the roadside near Dallas.