Rhode Island representative Patrick Kennedy pleads guilty to DUI

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, representative of the first district of Rhode Island.

Representative of Rhode Island, Patrick Kennedy has pleaded guilty to driving while under the influence of prescription drugs after he was involved in an early morning car accident in May close to the United States capitol. According to police, Kennedy said he was "headed to the Capitol to make a vote."

"I am pleading guilty to driving under the influence," Kennedy said to Magistrate Judge Aida Melendez, who presided over the case in the District of Columbia Superior Court.

Kennedy had charges of failure to exhibit a driving permit and reckless driving against him dropped in exchange for pleading guilty. Kennedy was also ordered to pay a $250 donation to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington and a $100 donation to the Victims of Crime fund. Judge Melendez also ordered Kennedy to serve a 10-day jail sentence, but said if he followed the terms of his plea, then he won't have to serve the time. Kennedy is also on a one-year probation and must seek drug treatment.

"I've always said that I wanted to take full responsibility for my actions. Today in court, I suffered the consequences of my actions," said Kennedy during a press conference just outside the courthouse. "I look forward today to moving on to the next chapter in my life," he added.

Kennedy admitted to taking a sleeping pill called Ambien and also Phenergan, an anti-nausea prescription medication the morning of the accident, but said that he was not drunk.

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