The Smoking Gun has a copy of the police report from yesterday’s accident where Rep. Patrick Kennedy struck a security barrier.
Note that on the second page of the report the officer indicated that he thought Kennedy was impaired and under the influence of alcohol.
Scroll through to the third page of the police report. You will see where the officer who filled it out stated that Kennedy’s “eyes were red and watery, speech was slightly slurred, and upon exiting his vehicle, his balance was unsure.”
Is this sleepwalking? Well, The New York Times tries hard to support that claim in today’s edition:
“Following the last series of votes on Wednesday evening,” Mr. [Kennedy] said, “I returned to my home on Capitol Hill and took the prescribed amount” of the two drugs. “Some time around 2:45 a.m. I drove the few blocks to the Capitol complex believing I needed to vote. Apparently, I was disoriented from the medication.”
The incident comes at a time of growing concern about the side effects of Ambien and other sleep drugs. A study presented at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences earlier this year reported a rise in the number of crashes caused by impaired drivers taking Ambien.
The study found that drivers who took Ambien were more likely to run into stationary objects like light poles or parked vehicles than drivers who had consumed drugs or alcohol, and were more likely to be oblivious to arresting officers. The author of the study called many of these incidents “just extremely bizarre.”
The warnings required by the Food and Drug Administration for Ambien’s label say that it can cause sleepwalking and hallucinations in some cases, and cautions against combining it with alcohol.
Phenergan can also cause drowsiness, especially when combined with other drugs. A description of side effects of promethazine, the generic form of Phenergan, on Medicine.net, includes the statement: “Excessive sedation may occur when promethazine is combined with other medications that depress the central nervous system.”
Let the media’s defense of Kennedy commence.