30 Rocker Rolled by DUI

Rip Torn registers his third drunken driving arrest since 2004 after cops catch him cruising in breakdown lane with Christmas tree on roof

By Marcus Errico Jan 06, 2009 1:53 PMTags
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Rip Torn apparently had too much of the Christmas spirit(s), at least according to Connecticut's finest.

The 30 Rock costar pleaded not guilty Monday to two counts stemming from a Dec. 14 drunken driving arrest.

The 77-year-old was rung up on charges of illegal operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence and failure to drive in the proper lane after cops caught him cruising the breakdown lane of Route 44 with a Christmas tree tied to the roof of his Subaru. Torn lives in Salisbury, Conn., near the New York border.

Police say the actor botched part of a field sobriety exam and then refused to continue, insisting the ground wasn't level enough. He also refused a breath test.

Torn, who currently plays Alec Baldwin's back-from-a-coma boss Don Geiss on 30 Rock and is best known for the Men in Black films and his Emmy-winning role on The Larry Sanders Show, is due back in court Jan. 28.

In 2007, Torn pleaded guilty in a New York court to driving while impaired. He was fined and lost his license. In 2004, a Manhattan jury acquitted him of driving drunk and causing a fender-bender.

UPDATE: On May 19, 2009, Torn was placed on probation and ordered to attend an alcohol-education program. While he will still be allowed to drive, he must submit to a new test because of a severe hearing impairment.