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Patrick Kennedy pleads to DUI

  |   June 13, 2006 at 7:52 PM
WASHINGTON, June 13 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy pleaded guilty in Washington Tuesday to driving under the influence of prescription drugs in a plea bargain that spares him jail.

Judge Aida Melendez imposed one year of probation on the Rhode Island Democrat and ordered him to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, submit to spot urine testing and contribute $350 to a crime victims fund and the Boys' and Girls' Clubs, the Los Angeles Times reported.

She suspended a 10-day jail sentence as long as he completes his probation satisfactorily.

Kennedy, the son of Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., was stopped by Capitol police after he had an early morning crash. His blood was not tested but he later admitted being under the influence of Ambien and checked himself into a rehabilitation program.

"I've always said I wanted to take full responsibility for my actions, and today in court I did just that," Kennedy said after the court hearing. "I accepted the consequences of my actions."

Kennedy was joined in court by Rep. Jim Ramstad, R-Minn., a recovering alcoholic. Ramstad, who said he is Kennedy's AA sponsor, predicted that he would do well, "one day at a time."

© 2006 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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