Actor Sam Shepard arrested in Santa Fe on charges of driving while intoxicated

By Vik Jolly, AP

SANTA FE, New Mexico–Actor and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Sam Shepard was arrested Monday on suspicion of drunken driving after a Santa Fe restaurant’s security complained about a possibly intoxicated driver.

The 71-year-old Shepard told a police officer that he had two tequila drinks and was planning to drive home, Santa Fe police Lt. Andrea Dobyns said Tuesday. ��Our officer could smell alcohol on his breath, and he had bloodshot, watery eyes,�� she said.

Shepard was arrested on a charge of aggravated driving while intoxicated outside La Choza restaurant in downtown.

The restaurant’s security called police at about 7:45 p.m. Monday concerned about an intoxicated driver, Dobyns said. The man was trying to leave in the pickup, but the vehicle’s emergency brake was engaged.

Shepherd declined to take a breath test, but he did perform a field sobriety test, which he failed, Dobyns said.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Shepard had an attorney. Santa Fe County Jail records indicated Shepard had not been released from custody as of Tuesday afternoon

The office of Shepard’s agent said Tuesday that it had no comment.

Shepard won the Pulitzer Prize for his 1979 three-act play ��Buried Child.�� His film credits, among others, include ��Baby Boom,�� ��Steel Magnolias,�� ��Thunderheart,�� ��Black Hawk Down,�� ��The Notebook,�� and ��Walker Payne,�� according to the website of the Santa Fe Institute, a transdisciplinary research community, which lists the actor as a Miller Scholar.