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Kerry Kennedy’s DUI Comments Anger Relative Of Taconic Crash Victims

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WARWICK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Just days after her acquittal on a drugged-driving charge, Kerry Kennedy is raising eyebrows after making some controversial comments.

Kennedy, 54, the daughter of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, was acquitted Friday of driving while intoxicated. Kennedy successfully argued in court she mistakenly took a sleeping pill instead of her thyroid medication before she got behind the wheel of her Lexus and sideswiped a tractor-trailer in North Castle in July 2012.

As CBS 2’s John Slattery reported, Kennedy, in an appearance on the “Today” show Monday, said Westchester County prosecutors “have a policy of pursuing every case of driving under the influence.”

“And this is a terrible policy because it means that a lot of people who are innocent get caught up in the criminal justice system who shouldn’t be there,” said Kennedy, the ex-wife of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

She added that many people can’t afford competent counsel like she could “so they plead to things they didn’t do”

Michael Bastardi disagrees. His father and brother were among eight people killed in July 2009 when a drunken woman carrying five children in a minivan drove into oncoming traffic on the Taconic State Parkway. She collided head-on with the men’s SUV.

“That’s ridiculous,” Bastardi said of Kennedy’s comments. “What planet is she on?

“It’s shocking that someone like her especially would even say something,” he added. “It doesn’t make sense.”

Lucian Chalfan, a spokesman for Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore, said: “The district attorney’s office prosecutes 2,500 impaired driving cases annually in Westchester County. The Kennedy case was treated no differently from any of the others.”

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