U.S. playwright, actor Sam Shepard arrested on drunken driving charge

Tue May 26, 2015 7:35pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Actor and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Sam Shepard was arrested in New Mexico on suspicion of drunken driving, police said on Tuesday.

Shepard, 71, told police he had consumed roughly two tequila drinks at a downtown Santa Fe restaurant on Monday evening, police spokeswoman Andrea Dobyns said.

He refused a breath test and was arrested outside the eatery after failing a field sobriety test, Dobyns said.

The restaurant's security staff had called police to report an intoxicated patron trying to drive a pickup truck with the vehicle's emergency brake engaged,

"The officers said he was compliant, but had bloodshot watery eyes and the officers were able to smell the alcohol," Dobyns said.

Shepard was booked into the Santa Fe County Jail on a charge of aggravated driving while intoxicated, according to online records.

The records showed he spent the night in jail, and a clerk said he was being arraigned in Santa Fe Magistrate Court on Tuesday.

A representative for Shepard did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Shepard's plays include "Buried Child," for which he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1979, "True West," "Curse of the Starving Class" and "Fool for Love."   Continued...

Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and actor Sam Shepard is shown in this booking photo from the Santa Fe County Adult Detention Facility in Santa Fe, New Mexico in this handout photo released to Reuters May 26, 2015. REUTERS/Santa Fe County Adult Detention Facility/Handout via Reuters