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Kennedy uses DUI experience to send controversial message

Though some people think of a "Kennedy" as someone who has it all, members of the Kennedy family have had their share of tragedy in the past. Former President Kennedy's niece Kerry Kennedy's recent run-in with the law is not at the tragic level of an assassination, but her impaired driving arrest certainly wasn't a glamorous moment.

Kennedy is fortunate, however, that her drugged driving case ended in her favor. She pressed the criminal case to trial, pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence and was acquitted recently by a jury. But the end of the trial hasn't put an end to Kennedy's talks about her case and what is the serious traffic safety matter of drunk and drugged driving.

In fact, the message that Kennedy is sharing with the media has stirred up controversy among the public. She focuses specifically on the legal system in her area of New York where she was arrested and charged with impaired driving, but her argument could apply to counties anywhere, including in Pennsylvania.

Kennedy believes that prosecutors go after too many suspects for drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs. She phrases the problem as a sort of waste of resources. District attorneys and prosecutors try cases against defendants whom, Kennedy suggests, they might not even believe are guilty of the criminal allegations.

Those who have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident involving drug use or alcohol might worry about Kennedy's message. Would going after fewer DUI suspects let too many drunk drivers fall through the cracks? There is also the chance that a stronger focus on fewer, more certain cases could more effectively put guilty parties in jail and cost them their driving privileges.

No matter how criminal laws and legal processes might change, the principle is the same in regards to car accidents involving negligence. A victim of a drunk driving accident can seek justice in his or her own way with the help of a personal injury lawyer.

Source: New York Daily News, "Kerry Kennedy criticizes Westchester County for going after 'every single' DUI, outraging families of drunken driving victims," Joe Kemp and Tim O'Connor, March 4, 2014

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