Writer and Film Star Sam Shepard Arrested for Drunk Driving
Actor and playwright Sam Shepard has been associated with some patriotic themes throughout his film career, but he spent Memorial Day 2015 in the least patriotic of ways. He would finish the holiday weekend with a night in jail after being charged with drunk driving in Santa Fe, N.M. This would not be the first time his fans would hear the words Sam Shepard arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated.
The trouble began Monday at around 8 p.m. It was then that the security guard at La Choza restaurant noticed the actor, trying to drive away in a pickup truck, seemed to have trouble moving because its emergency brake was engaged. A police officer who soon arrived on the scene concluded that the driver was inebriated. The officer reported that the actor’s eyes were bloodshot and his breath smelled of alcohol.
After the actor had refused to take a breath test, but had failed a sobriety examination, the officer decided that the wise thing to do was have Sam Shepard arrested. Shepard did inform the police officer that he had consumed two tequila drinks before attempting to drive home. Jailed after being charged with the crime of aggravated driving while intoxicated, Shepard was released on bail the following day.
This latest report of Sam Shepard arrested on drunk driving charges should come as no surprise to those aware of how the actor has battled addiction to alcohol in the past. In a press interview conducted in 2010, he described his addiction as a “constant struggle.” It was back in the 1990s that he joined Alcoholics Anonymous in an attempt to quit drinking. His sobriety lasted only four years, after which he returned to drinking.
His addiction got him into legal trouble in 2009, with reports of Sam Shepard arrested on drunk driving in Illinois. Initially, he was stopped for speeding in a residential area, but a subsequent test showed his alcohol blood count to be twice the authorized limit. The first case involving Sam Shepard arrested on driving while intoxicated ended with the actor pleading guilty and having to pay a fine of $600. He was also required to perform community service and to enter an alcohol treatment program.
His drinking and the most recent case of Sam Shepard arrested for drunk driving have cast a pall on what has otherwise been a successful life for the 71-year-old actor. His movie roles included a portrayal of famed U.S. Air Force test pilot Chuck Yeager in “The Right Stuff,” which earned Shepard an Academy Award nomination. He played military officers in other movies, including “One Kill”, “Stealth”, and “Black Hawk Down”. He played a variety of other characters in a number of other motion pictures, including “Country” and “Steel Magnolias”. Beyond his work as an actor, Shepard has been a successful writer for more than 50 years, and won a Pulitzer Prize for his play “Buried Child.”