Santa Fe, NM- Police in Santa Fe have arrested Pulitzer-winning playwright and actor Sam Shepard for suspicion of driving under the influence, making it his second arrest for DWI.
Reports indicate that Shepard was arrested outside a restaurant and told police that he had two tequila drinks and intended to drive home. According to the TMZ, the 71 year-old writer had bloodshot eyes and his breath smelled of alcohol.
Workers at the restaurant called police Monday night around 8 p.m., notifying them that a heavily intoxicated man was attempting to drive away, but couldn’t because the parking brake in his truck was engaged.
Shepard agreed to participate in field sobriety tests, which he failed, but refused a breath test. In New Mexico, refusing a breath test results in a year-long suspension of a suspected offenders driver’s license.
Shepard was taken into custody and as off Tuesday night was still in jail, the Daily Mail reported.
The Daily Mail reports that this was Shepard’s second DUI charge. In 2009, he was arrested and charged with speeding and driving under the influence. That time he agreed to a field sobriety test which showed his blood alcohol content was twice Illinois’ legal limit. He also happened to be leaving a restaurant when he was arrested in that incident, as well.
A prolific writer, Shepard won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for the play “Buried Child,” according to Wikipedia. He also appeared in numerous films and won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Chuck Yeager in the film “The Right Stuff.”
Since New Mexico has no lookback period, Shepard’s first arrest for DWI will be considered for sentencing if he us ultimately convicted. It doesn’t matter if the arrest took place in another state. If convicted of his second DWI, he faces anywhere from 96 hours to 364 days in jail and will lose his license for up to 3 years.
But in New Mexico, it is also possible for him to lose his vehicle. Unlike most states, law enforcement agencies in the state are allowed to seize a person’s vehicle for a repeat DWI charge. In fact the practice is so common that Albuquerque city attorney Pete Connelly was caught on tape discussing at a police conference how excited law enforcement was when they managed to seize a 2008 Mercedes from a driver who was caught for a DWI.
Motorists know that drinking and driving is illegal, but they do it anyway. They may get away it numerous times, but not forever. If you have been arrested for a first or second DWI, you should enlist a DWI attorney to help you with your charges. Allow USAttorneys to help you find one in your area to work in your defense.
Having expert legal help is your best bet for avoiding conviction so contact a DWI attorney in New Mexico today to begin evaluating your case. This is not a charge you can handle on your own so don’t make the mistake of thinking you can.