Sam Shepard


Sam Shepard has written off drunk driving.

The actor and Pulitzer-winning playwright pleaded guilty in an Illinois court Wednesday to driving under the influence in connection with his Jan. 3 arrest for speeding and having a blood-alcohol level of nearly twice the legal 0.08 percent limit.

"I never intend to drive under the influence again. It's just not worth it," Shepard, 65, told McClean County Judge Casey Costigan, who then sentenced the Right Stuff star to two years' probation and 100 hours of community service, fined him $600 and ordered him to complete a court-approved alcohol-treatment program.

According to the local Pantagraph, Shepard explained to the court that he had spent the evening prior to his 2 a.m. arrest in a Bloomington bar swapping stories with the locals, and that he often stopped in town when he was making the trek from his Kentucky home to visit relatives in Minnesota.

Prosecutors said today that Shepard registered a 0.175 percent blood-alcohol level when he was busted. He spent a few hours in custody before being released on $300 bail.

Shepard, whose upcoming itinerary includes trips to New York and Ireland for work, will be allowed to attend counseling and perform his court-ordered good deeds elsewhere, but a probation-status hearing has been set for Sept. 25 in Bloomington.

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