LITCHFIELD, Conn. – Actor Rip Torn has pleaded not guilty to drunken driving charges in Connecticut, nearly two years after being fined and losing his license for similar charges in New York.
The 77-year-old Salisbury resident appeared in Bantam Superior Court on Monday. He pleaded not guilty to illegal operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence and failure to drive in the proper lane.
State police say a trooper stopped Torn on Dec. 14 on Route 44 shortly after he had left the White Hart Inn in Salisbury, a town of about 4,000 people in the northwestern corner of the state that borders New York and Massachusetts.
Police say Torn was driving in the breakdown lane in his 1994 Subaru with a Christmas tree tied to the top.
He failed part of a field sobriety exam, then gave up after saying the ground wasn't level enough, state police said. He also refused to take a breathalyzer test and used profanity while in the trooper's cruiser, police said.
Torn, who won an Emmy for his role on "The Larry Sanders Show," is set to return to court Jan. 28.
His attorney, A. Thomas Waterfall of Torrington, told The Register Citizen newspaper: "All I can tell you is that we will review the reports, and Mr. Torn and I will meet to discuss his defense options. At this point, I don't know what they are yet."