Friday, May 05, 2006

 

Rep. Kennedy's late night parking adventure

Who can resist: Rep. Kennedy's Car Crashes Near Capitol

Some comments:

“…saying he had been disoriented after taking prescription drugs: Phenergan for gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines, and Ambien, a sleeping medication.”

I’m not a DC lawyer but in Maryland, driving while impaired by drugs is also against the law.

“Kennedy, a six-term congressman, said that Capitol Police officers told him to park his Ford Mustang and drove him home.”

Was this before or after he crashed into the barrier? Because this was the timeline as reported later in the article:

“Police sources said officers noticed Kennedy's Mustang shortly before the crash because he nearly drove head-on into a Capitol Police car. The Mustang's lights were off, the sources said. The officer turned his patrol car around to pursue Kennedy, whose car then crashed into the barrier, the sources said.

“When police approached, the sources said, Kennedy got out of his car and said he was late for a vote. The House had not been in session for hours.”

Kind of reads like he had already parked the car. Is Rep. Kennedy suggesting that the police then told him to get back into his car, properly park it, after which the police would drive him home? Because remember:

“"At no time did I ask for any special consideration," the statement said”

I’m inferring from the story that the police recognized the Representative and that he is a bit sensitive to the events that followed; wonder what Rep. McKinney is thinking about all this? Rep. McKinney has 5th run-in with security

Or Debra Bolton, who is NOT a member of Congress and whose father is NOT Ted Kennedy but who last May was pulled over for not having her headlights on and subsequently was arrested with a blood-alcohol level of .03. Single Glass of Wine Immerses D.C. Driver in Legal Battle

But the Representative is insistent: “At no time before the incident did I consume any alcohol."

I’ve defended a fair number of drunk driving cases and have listened in on many more: a near-universal constant is that the accused almost always admits to “2-3 drinks” so his would be on the low side. While quantifying the amount of alcohol (if any) has specific procedural requirements, ascertaining the presence of alcohol is considerably less formal. Did the officers smell or otherwise detect any or didn’t they? I would think, from the facts as presented (no lights, swerving, crash and staggering), the officers would have had probable cause to at least conduct field sobriety tests. If the supervisors did prevent such tests, then they have some explaining to do.

…as do the people at Ambien. (Big bucks for a sleeping medication and you’re back up in a couple hours?)

On a positive note: I was glad to read the Representative is driving an American-made car.

UPDATE: The Post has an update - Rep. Kennedy Crashes Into Security Barrier

Update II: Rep. Kennedy is going into drug treatment at the Mayo Clinic - Rep. Patrick Kennedy to Enter Drug Rehab and Rep. Kennedy to Enter Rehab After Crash

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