Kerry Kennedy appears in court over crash

FILE - In this Tuesday, July 17, 2012 file photo, Kerry Kennedy, ex-wife of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, speaks after she appeared at the North Castle Justice Court in Armonk, N.Y. A court document says the drug found in Ambien sleeping pills was found in Kerry Kennedy's blood after her recent New York auto accident. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)

September 12, 2012 3:19:41 AM PDT
Kerry Kennedy, accused of driving while impaired with drugs, has new attorneys representing her.

The daughter of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and niece of President John F. Kennedy appeared in North Castle Town Court on Tuesday with attorneys Gerald Lefcourt and William Aronwald. They asked for an adjournment so they could have more time to familiarize themselves with the case.

Town Justice Elyse Lazansky set a return court date for the evening of Nov. 20.

Kerry Kennedy was arrested July 13. Her Lexus had swerved across Interstate 684 in North Castle and swiped a tractor-trailer.

Police said she failed several sobriety tests and was swaying and slurring her speech.

She told police she might have accidentally taken an Ambien sleeping pill instead of her thyroid medication, but her spokesman later that day issued a statement saying tests found "no drugs or alcohol whatsoever in her system."

Outside court on July 18, Kennedy said her doctors thought the July 11 accident was caused by a seizure. She said their tests found no alcohol, recreational drugs or prescription medication in her system.

She mentioned again, however, that she told a police officer she might have taken an Ambien pill by accident.

On July 25, prosecutors filed their test of Kennedy's blood sample, which found a small amount of the drug in Ambien.

"It now appears that my first instinct was correct," she said.

The driver of the tractor-trailer that she hit pleaded not guilty earlier this month to leaving the scene of an accident. He said he continued his trip because his truck was undamaged.

It has been a difficult year for Kennedy family members in the New York suburbs. Kennedy's close friend and sister-in-law, Mary Kennedy, hanged herself at home in May. Her brother Douglas Kennedy is fighting charges stemming from his attempt to take his newborn son from a maternity ward.

Kerry Kennedy and now-Gov. Andrew Cuomo married in 1990, joining two of America's most prominent political families. They split in 2003 in a messy public divorce that played out in the tabloids. They have three daughters.

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