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Kerry Kennedy tested positive for sleeping aid

July 25, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, tested positive for sleeping aid Ambien in a blood sample taken the day of her auto accident on a New York highway.

The blood test showed that a toxicologist detected 14 nanograms per milliliter of zolpidem, the sleep aid found in Ambien.

Doctors say that amount is low, typical of someone who would have just taken a pill or taken one several hours before. A urine sample was negative for alcohol, the toxicologist wrote.

Still, the news contradicts her own doctors, who had announced that she had a seizure that day, and that she had no alcohol or drugs in her system.

She acknowledged, however, that she told a police officer she might have taken an Ambien pill by accident instead of her daily thyroid medication.

"It now appears that my first instinct was correct," Kennedy said in a statement issued late Wednesday.

The former wife of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was arrested after state police said her Lexus struck a tractor-trailer on Interstate 684. Police said she then took an exit off the highway before her car became disabled.

Kennedy, 52, pleaded not guilty to a charge of driving while drug-impaired. Police said Kennedy failed several sobriety tests and was swaying and slurring her speech.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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