Kerry Kennedy Pleads Not Guilty To DWAID Charges

Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy and ex-wife of Governor Andrew Cuomo, was charged on July 13th with DWAID, or driving while ability impaired by drugs in Armonk, New York. The charges stem from an incident at approximately 8:00 AM on July 13, 2012 when Kennedy was allegedly driving her 2008 Lexus 350 erratically and struck a tractor-trailer on I-684 southbound near Exit 4 in Mount Kisco. Supposedly, Ms. Kennedy then left the scene and exited the highway at Exit 3 on Route 22, where she was found with a flat tire, slumped over her steering wheel, by a North Castle police officer.

Reports say that Ms. Kennedy failed the 3 Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, including the nystagmus test, walk and turn, and one leg stand. The District Attorney’s Office states that Ms. Kennedy informed the investigating officer that she had taken an Ambien before driving. Ms. Kennedy has alleged that she may have had a seizure at the time of the accident, and has stated that she has no memory of anything from the time she entered 684 until a police officer was at her car door and began asking her questions.

Preliminary reports show that Ms. Kennedy had no alcohol in her system, but although she and her attorney have claimed that drugs tests were also negative, this would seem to be premature, as laboratory reports are usually not available within 4 days of a DWI charge. Ms. Kennedy is charged with the misdemeanor of DWAID, and it possible that she could also be charged with leaving the scene of a property damage accident under section 600 (1) (a) of the New York State Vehicle & Traffic Law, which is a traffic infraction and not a crime.

Ms. Kennedy was arraigned on July 17, 2012 in North Castle Town Court and pled not guilty to the charges against her. If she were convicted of the DWAID charge, she would face a six month revocation of her driver’s license; a $500.00 fine and mandatory New York State surcharge of $400.00; be required to install and maintain an ignition interlock device (IID) in any vehicle she owned or operated for one year; be screened for alcohol and/or substance abuse, be required to attend a 7 week Drinking Driver Program sponsored by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (known as the “DDP”), and also be required to attend a Victim Impact Panel. Further, she would be facing an additional fine of $750.00 known as a “Driver’s Responsibility Assessment” from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Ms. Kennedy was ordered to be evaluated for alcohol and drug abuse and fingerprinted by Town Justice Elyse Lazansky. She is due back in Court on August 14, 2012.

Contact the Westchester County DWI Lawyers online or toll free at (914) 428-7386 for a free initial consultation to discuss your DWI, DWAID, refusal to take a chemical test, felony DWI under Leandra’s Law, or other criminal charges in detail with an experienced, knowledgeable DWI attorney.