Posted by Phoenix DUI Attorney Nick Alcock:
Camelot clan member Kerry Kennedy, a human rights activist and the ex-wife of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was arrested and charged with driving while impaired by drugs. Kennedy was discovered around 8 a.m. Friday morning by state police after the car she was driving collided with a tractor-trailer on a freeway in the town of North Castle, N.Y.
A spokesman for the Kennedy family denied that tests for impairment were positive, remarking that “Kerry Kennedy voluntarily took breathalyzer, blood and urine tests — all of which showed no drugs or alcohol whatsoever in her system. The charges were filed before the test results were available.”
According to the police statement, 911 calls reported the car moving erratically on the freeway before hitting the tractor-trailer. The collision caused a flat tire and Kennedy exited the freeway, it said. Kennedy, 52, was found seated at the wheel of the disabled vehicle by North Castle Police. State police arrived and found Kennedy to be impaired by drugs, it said. Kennedy, who lives in Bedford, N.Y., was not injured.
A Forbes report speculated that the incident was a case of “sleep driving” — a rare side effect of the sleep aid Ambien that causes users to get out of bed and drive while still asleep with no memory of their actions — but did not quote any sources close to Kennedy who could corroborate the speculation. Ironically, it was her cousin, former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, that first brought public attention to the problem of Ambien-induced sleep driving in 2006 when he crashed his Mustang convertible into a capitol hill barrier at 2 a.m. telling officers he was late for a vote. Kennedy had gotten out of bed after taking Ambien and an anti-nausea medication.
Kennedy, born Mary Kerry Kennedy, is the seventh of eleven children born to Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Skakel Kennedy. She is president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights in Washington, D.C. Kennedy has no known history of substance abuse, however many of her siblings have battled alcohol and drug issues. In May 2006, her cousin, former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy crashed into a barrier near Capitol Hill, saying he had been disoriented after taking Ambien.
Kerry Kennedy was issued traffic tickets and released. She is due in North Castle Court at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, facing the misdemeanor charge of driving while impaired.
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