Playwright Sam Shepard Collared By New Mexico Cops On Aggravated DWI Charge

Playwright Sam Shepard was arrested last night on a drunk driving charge near his New Mexico home, police report.

Shepard, 71, was collared outside a Santa Fe restaurant after concerned eatery employees called 911 to report that an inebriated patron was trying to drive away in a pickup truck.

When questioned by police, Shepard--who reportedly smelled of booze and had bloodshot, watery eyes--said that he had consumed two tequila drinks. While he declined to take a Breathalyzer, Shepard agreed to perform a series of field sobriety tests (which, cops say, he failed).

Charged with aggravated DWI, Shepard was released this afternoon from the Santa Fe County jail after posting $5000 bond.

Shepard, who won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, has two children with the actress Jessica Lange, his ex-companion. In addition to writing, Shepard has also worked as an actor, appearing in films like “Black Hawk Down” and “Days of Heaven.” He was nominated for an Academy Award for his 1983 portrayal of test pilot Chuck Yeager in “The Right Stuff.”

In 2009, Shepard was convicted of drunk driving in Illinois. He was sentenced to probation and ordered to perform community service and attend alcohol education classes.