Famed Playwright Sam Shepard Arrested for Drunk Driving

By May Wilkerson 05/27/15

The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer was busted for his second DUI.

Sam Shepard
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Actor and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Sam Shepard was arrested Monday on suspicion of drunk driving after leaving a restaurant in Santa Fe, N.M., authorities report.

Security at La Choza restaurant alerted police after Shepard, 71, tried to drive away with his emergency brake on. After being pulled over, he told an officer that he’d had two tequila drinks and was planning to drive home, said local police Lt. Andrea Dobyns. He then refused a breath test and performed a field sobriety test, which he failed. “Our officer could smell alcohol on his breath, and he had bloodshot, watery eyes," said Dobyns.

Shepard was released Tuesday afternoon after posting bail, according to Santa Fe jail records.

This is the second DUI for Shepard, who was arrested for speeding and driving with a blood alcohol level at twice the legal limit back in 2009. At the time, he faced a fine, was placed on 24 months of supervision, and ordered to complete an alcohol treatment program and 100 hours of community service.

Shepard’s notable career accomplishments include winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1979 for his play Buried Child, and numerous film credits, including a role in 1983’s The Right Stuff which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.