People make mistakes all the time: forgetting where they left their glasses, locking their keys in their car, missing the bus or train.
But what happens, when a simple mistake ends with the person breaking the law?
This is the key question in the case of Kerry Kennedy, on trial for driving while intoxicated (DWI).
Kennedy, the daughter of Robert Kennedy and niece of former president John F. Kennedy, has been charged with misdemeanor DWI. According to CNN, Kennedy was swerving between lanes, eventually striking a tractor-trailer. She drove away from the scene and was found collapsed in her car by police.
Kennedy says that she must have mistakenly taken a sleep aid instead of her usual thyroid medication the morning of the accident. She then packed her bags to go to the gym and headed out onto the road.
She testified that she has no memory of the crash or even driving onto the highway.
At issue in this case is whether or not Kennedy is responsible for her actions. Her criminal defense lawyers are using an “involuntary intoxication” defense, stating that she was under the effects of a medication and had no intention of breaking the law.
“If I’d realized I was impaired, I would have pulled over,” Kennedy said.
The case’s prosecutor argued that Kennedy should have felt the effects of the medication and had a responsibility to pull over.
In response, her lawyers argued that she had no time to react before the medication kicked in. Laboratory director Elizabeth Pratt testified that zolpidem, the medicine Kennedy took, is “a very potent, fast-acting hypnotic.”
Kennedy could spend up to one year in prison if convicted.
In cases like these, the experience and knowledge of a driving under the influence (DUI) lawyer is critical. If you’ve been charged with a DUI/DWI in the Riverside or San Bernardino area, feel free to call us, and we will help you defend against these charges.