Kerry Kennedy in White Plains Court on Drugged Driving Charges

Trail begins for the accused daughter of RFK.

Kerry Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy’s daughter and the ex-wife of Governor Andrew Cuomo, arrived in White Plains court today to face charges of driving while impaired, a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to one year in jail.

Traces of the sleeping-drug zolpidem were found in Kennedy’s bloodstream in July 2012 after her car sideswiped a tractor-trailer on I-684. Witnesses reported seeing her vehicle swerving on the interstate. No one was hurt in the collision.

The 54-year-old Bedford resident claims she accidentally took a sleeping pill in place of her thyroid medication, and her lawyers point to the gym clothes she was wearing at the time of arrest as evidence that she was en route to the gym and took the sleeping pill unintentionally.   

Kennedy's mother, Ethel Kennedy, was present in the courtroom, along with six jurors. The case was being heard in state Supreme Court, which is unusual for a misdemeanor, but Kennedy’s lawyers successfully argued that a town court was too small to accommodate a high-profile case.

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