NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Kerry Kennedy, the former wife of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was arrested Friday on DWAI charges.
New York State Police told CBS 2 Kennedy was driving a 2008 Lexus RX 350 when she was spotted driving erratically.
The incident happened near the height of morning rush hour — around 8 a.m. — in the southbound lanes of Interstate 684.
Police said Kennedy’s car collided with a tractor-trailer. Its body was damaged and the car got a flat tire. Kennedy then left the interstate at Exit 3 and parked on the side of Route 22. An officer determined she was operating the Lexus while impaired by drugs.
Sources told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey that Kennedy was slumped over the wheel and had told police she had taken the sleep aid Ambien.
However, one retired police officer said that’s no excuse.
“If she’s taken prescription drugs, it’s probably telling her she shouldn’t be driving,” Jim Caravello said. “Most prescriptions that are narcotic are going to tell you you shouldn’t be on the road driving.”
State Police took Kennedy, 52, to the Somers barracks. A source told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello she was cooperative, was given a ticket and released on her own recognizance.
Kennedy’s spokesman, Ken Sunshine, said she voluntarily took breathalyzer, blood and urine tests that showed no drugs or alcohol in her system. Sunshine said charges were filed before the test results were available.
Police said the charges were based on their observations of Kennedy and on 9-1-1 calls from motorists from the highway.
CBS 2’s Hennessey tried to speak to Kennedy at her Mount Kisco home on Friday night, but was told she wasn’t available. While some residents and neighbors said they feel badly for the former wife of the governor, others said they hope she doesn’t get any favorable treatment because of her family name.
“If she’s driving under the influence, she should get whatever comes to her,” Dana Sardone said.
Kennedy separated from Cuomo in 2003. They divorced in 2005. The couple has three daughters. CBS 2’s Aiello has learned Kennedy was alone in her car at the time of the incident Friday morning.
The governor’s office had no comment about Kennedy’s arrest.
Kerry Kennedy was most recently in the news, speaking about the tragic death of her sister-in-law Mary, the estranged wife of Kennedy’s brother, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Kerry Kennedy is due in court on the DWAI charge next week.
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