Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy crashed his car into a security barrier near the Capitol early yesterday, and officers at the scene suspected that he might have been intoxicated, a police union official said.We may never know if he was legally drunk because Capitol police gave Kennedy a ride home, but did not administer a sobriety test. I doubt I would receive such a lenient response, and I know a 20-something black male wouldn't be chauffeured back home without a sobriety test.
Kennedy (D-R.I.) issued a statement late last night -- his second in several hours -- saying he had been disoriented after taking prescription drugs: Phenergan for gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines, and Ambien, a sleeping medication.
"Following the last series of votes on Wednesday evening, I returned to my home on Capitol Hill and took the prescribed amount" of the two medications, the 38-year-old congressman said.
"Sometime around 2:45 a.m., I drove the few blocks to the Capitol Complex believing I needed to vote," the statement continued. "Apparently, I was disoriented from the medication .... At no time before the incident did I consume any alcohol."
But even if Kennedy wasn't under the influence of alcohol, someone who (by his own description) was "disoriented" from sleeping pills and other medication should not have been operating a motor vehicle.