“30 Rock” Actor Rip Torn may Avoid DWI Charge by Attending Alcohol Class

Following a third DWI arrest, well-known Hollywood movie and TV star Rip Torn is seeking to dodge drunk driving charges in Connecticut by attending that state’s alcohol awareness program. The 78-year-old performer, whose most recent television appearances have included the popular NBC sitcom, “30 Rock,” already has two prior out of state drunken driving arrests.

In January, Torn pleaded not guilty to charges of driving while intoxicated when he was arrested last December. According to police, Torn was pulled over near his home in Salisbury while driving with a Christmas tree tied to the roof of his car. The arresting officer attempted to administer a breath test to determine the actor’s blood alcohol content, but Torn refused to take the breathalyzer test, then reportedly used profanity while detained in the police cruiser.

Torn recently appeared in Bantam Superior Court, requesting admission to an alcohol education program, which is required in that state before DWI charges can be dropped. Torn’s defense lawyer stated that his client had a chance of qualifying for the program despite his two previous drunk driving arrests. According to reports, Torn pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in the case of one drunken driving arrest and was acquitted in the other.

Authorities wouldn’t comment on whether the prosecutor would attempt to block Torn’s application, although it appears that the actor is eligible in this instance.

Rip Torn seeks to avoid drunken driving charge, The Associated Press, March 26, 2009

“30 Rock” Boss Applies for Booze School, NBCMIAMI.com, March 26, 2009