The Pulitzer Prize winner reportedly failed a sobriety test and spent the night in a New Mexico jail

May 26, 2015 09:45 PM

Sam Shepard, the Oscar-nominated actor and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, was arrested on Monday on charges of aggravated drunk driving in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

According to an Associated Press report, Shepard, 71, was arrested outside the La Choza restaurant in Santa Fe, after an employee called the police at about 7:45 p.m. on Monday to alert them to a possibly intoxicated driver who was attempting to leave the parking lot with his truck’s emergency brake engaged.

When an officer contacted Shepard, the actor said he’d had two tequila drinks. Shepard declined a breathalyzer test but failed a field sobriety test.

According to a Reuters report of the incident, Santa Fe Police spokesperson Andrea Dobyns said Shepard was “compliant, but had bloodshot watery eyes and the officers were able to smell the alcohol.”

Santa Fe County Jail records indicate that Shepard spent the night in custody and was released on Tuesday.

Nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance as Chuck Yeager in the 1983 movie The Right Stuff, Shepard also appeared in August: Osage County, The Notebook and Black Hawk Down. He most recently starred in the Netflix series Bloodline. An accomplished playwright, Shepard won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play Buried Child.

Shepard, who split with longtime partner Jessica Lange six years ago, was previously arrested for intoxicated driving in 2009.

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