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Joan Kennedy Pleads Guilty to DUI

November 7, 2000

BARNSTABLE, Mass. (AP) _ Joan B. Kennedy, former wife of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, pleaded guilty to drunken driving Tuesday and was sentenced to probation.

Kennedy, 64, was sentenced to two years’ probation and told she would be subject to random alcohol checks. She will also undergo counseling and cannot apply for a driver’s license during her probation.

She was arrested Sept. 10 after police were notified that a car was being driven erratically. It was her fourth such arrest since 1974. When a police cruiser approached the blue Buick, Kennedy was outside the car, police said.

Kennedy gave her name only as Joan and refused to give the officer any other identification until she arrived at the police station and presented her driver’s license, police said.

Kennedy was charged with operating under the influence of alcohol, and with refusing to produce a license or registration when she was stopped.

Calls to Kennedy’s lawyer were not immediately returned Tuesday.

Kennedy, who was divorced from the senator in 1982 after 24 years of marriage, has described herself as a recovering alcoholic.

She has spent time in a number of rehabilitation programs following arrests for drunken driving. She was arrested in Virginia in 1974, in Barnstable in 1988, and was ordered into alcohol treatment in 1991 after she was arrested in Quincy.

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