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Mary Kennedy Pleads Not Guilty to DWAI Charge

Kennedy's plea comes a little more than a month after she pleaded guilty to driving while ability impaired in Bedford town court.

PLEASANT VALLEY, DUTCHESS COUNTY  -- Mary Kennedy, the estranged wife of Robert Kennedy Jr.,  pleaded not guilty to a charge driving while ability impaired by drugs Thursday evening in Pleasant Valley town court.

Kennedy entered her plea during an arraignment in town court. Pleasant Valley is located Dutchess County, about 40 miles north of Bedford.

Kennedy was arrested and charged on Aug. 21 after she was allegedly caught driving 82 miles per hour on the Taconic State Parkway. She was brought to Troop K headquarters in Poughkeepsie where tests allegedly revealed that she had prescription medication in her system. In addition to the DWAI charge, police ticketed Kennedy for speeding.

Kerry Lawrence, Kennedy's attorney, told The Journal News that she was on her way to a yoga class at the Omega Institute, which is in nearby Rhinebeck.

It was the second time this year that Kennedy has been arrested for driving under the influence.

In May, Kennedy was arrested for a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated in Bedford. A Bedford police officer arrested her after he found her intoxicated a short distance from hear home, near the driveway of St. Patrick's School. At that time, she recorded a .11 BAC level in a sobriety test, which is above the state's legal limit of .08.

That incident took place five days after Robert Kennedy Jr. reportedly filed divorce papers.

Kennedy eventually pleaded to a lesser offense of driving while ability impaired in July.  Her license was suspended for 90 days, and she was required to pay $500 in fines. Her suspension, however, had conditional driving periods and she was warned that her  case could be brought back to Bedford town court if she failed to follow any of the court's mandates.

According to state police, no charges with regards to violating the conditional suspension are listed. Kennedy is due back in Pleasant Valley town court on Sept. 16.

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