Kerry Kennedy Admits Taking Drug Before Driving, But by Mistake

Image: Kerry Kennedy Admits Taking Drug Before Driving, But by Mistake

Tuesday, 25 Feb 2014 09:30 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Kerry Kennedy, ex-wife of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a member of the esteemed Kennedy family, accidentally took a sleeping pill instead of her thyroid medication and that's why she was driving erratically in 2012, her defense lawyer said in court this week.

Kennedy, 54, was charged with drugged driving in July 2012 after she sideswiped her Lexus into a tractor-trailer on Interstate 684 outside New York City. Despite the damage to her vehicle, Kennedy reportedly continued driving and was later found passed out at the wheel in a left-turn lane, according to The New York Times.

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The daughter of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and niece of President John F. Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy's trial kicked off Monday at the Westchester County Courthouse, where her defense team argued that she accidentally switched her medications and took a generic form of the sleeping aid Ambien instead of her thyroid pill.

Kennedy was "sleep driving," attorney Gerald Lefcourt told the court, adding that his client did not know that the sleeping pill was affecting her ability to drive.

But, The Associated Press reported, prosecutor Doreen Lloyd said Kennedy still broke the law by "failing to stop and pull over as she felt the onset of symptoms."

Kennedy's misdemeanor case was moved to the state Supreme Court after her defense team successfully convinced a judge that the small town of Armonk, N.Y., was not big enough or able to handle the trial.

But her lawyer made sure to mention to the jury Monday that Kennedy expects no special treatment.

"She is not seeking any advantage because of her family, but she should not be punished because of that family," Lefcourt reportedly told the court.

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