The Law Offices of John Phebus

Kennedy acquitted of driving under the influence of Ambien

As opposed to drinking alcohol to a point that impairs driving skills and leads to a charge of drunk driving, drugged driving involves taking medication or drugs, whether legal or illegal, prescribed or not, that impair one’s driving skills. A recent high-profile case involving a member of one of America’s most prominent families has resulted in an acquittal of drugged driving charges.

Kerry Kennedy, daughter of the late Robert Kennedy, was charged in 2012 of driving under the influence of the drug Ambien. Ambien is a prescription pill which is marketed as a fast-acting sleep aid. Before being stopped by police, Kennedy reportedly drove approximately five miles while allegedly speeding and swerving. She hit a tractor-trailer and drove on a bare rim after popping a tire. 

Kennedy’s primary defense was that she mistakenly took the sleeping medication instead of her thyroid medication because the pills looked alike. Prosecutors asked a jury to ignore Kennedy’s privileged background and hold her accountable for her actions. In addition to Kennedy’s ancestry, she is also the ex-wife of Andrew Cuomo, the current governor of New York, which is where she was charged with the misdemeanor.

Driving under the influence of certain medications can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. But one difference is that, unlike alcohol, the dangers of driving after taking some medications may not be as well-publicized or as well-known as the dangers involved with alcohol. While some drugs may carry warnings in fine print on a prescription bottle, even the manufacturers of some prescription medications have not yet acknowledged all of the side effects. 

If you are charged with driving under the influence of a medication, an experienced attorney may be able to help you mount a viable defense. Whether you are considered American royalty or just an ordinary resident of Arizona, everyone is entitled to criminal defense counsel when charged with a crime.

Source: The Journal News, “Kerry Kennedy acquitted of drugged driving,” Erik Shilling, Feb. 28, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Free Consultations

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Glendale Office
17505 N. 79th Avenue Suite 214
Glendale, AZ 85308

Map & Directions

Phoenix Office
40 North Central Avenue
Suite 1400
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Map & Directions

Tempe Office
60 East Rio Salado Pkwy
Tempe, AZ 85281

Map & Directions

Scottsdale Office
7150 East Camelback Road
Suite 444
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Map & Directions

We Accept
VISA | MasterCard | American Express | Discover Network | PayPal