ARMONK, N.Y. Kerry Kennedy pleaded not guilty to a DUI charge in Armonk's North Castle Town Court Tuesday evening, saying in a prepared statement outside of the courtroom that she suffered from a complex partial seizure while driving.
Kennedy said her memory was hazy on July 13, the morning of the accident, and that a neurological test at Mt. Sinai Medical Center showed the blackout was caused by a seizure and not the prescription drug Ambien.
I remember getting on the highway and then I have no memory until I was stopped at the traffic light and a police officer was at my car door, Kennedy said.
Kennedy apologized to the drivers on Route 684, where she reportedly struck a tractor-trailer, and said she was erratic while speaking with the officer after being pulled over.
I told the officer that it was theoretically possible that I had mistakenly taken an Ambien rather than a thyroid pill earlier that morning, Kennedy said. I have since been told by doctors that I appeared to have lost awareness while maintaining the ability to physically drive the car.
Kennedy said a blood and urine test showed no use of recreational drugs and that a breathalyzer test did not find any alcohol in her system. North Castle Judge Elyse Lazansky said the court is still awaiting the results of the blood and urine tests.
Kennedy, who was accompanied by her lawyer Robert Gottlieb and her siblings Rory and Christopher, sat in the back of the courtroom and scribbled notes on a prepared statement before standing in front of Lazansky. Lazansky ordered Kennedy to be fingerprinted and undergo a drug evaluation through TASC, a Treatment Assessment Screening Center. Kennedy will return to court for a hearing on Aug. 14.