Union: Rep. Kennedy got special treatment

May 5, 2006 at 4:58 PM

WASHINGTON, May 5 (UPI) -- Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-RI., Friday said he is checking himself into the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for treatment of a drug abuse problem.

The Rhode Island Democrat, who crashed his car in a one-car accident at the Capitol early Thursday, said at a news conference that the incident worried him because he does not remember getting in his car and driving after taking prescription drugs, the Washington Post reported.

Earlier Friday, Lou Cannon, president of the union that represents U.S. Capitol Police, said that superiors told the officers at the crash scene not to give Kennedy a sobriety test.

"I think he was extended a courtesy by virtue of his position," Cannon told CNN.

Kennedy has denied that he had been drinking and said he had taken two prescription drugs, Ambien, a sleeping medication, and Phenergan, an anti-nausea drug that can cause drowsiness.

"I have been fighting this chronic disease since I was a young man and have aggressively and periodically sought treatment so that I can live a full and productive life," Kennedy said at the news conference. "I struggle every day with this disease, as do millions of Americans."

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