Rip Torn seeks to avoid drunken driving charge

LITCHFIELD, Conn. (AP) -- Actor Rip Torn is trying to avoid a drunken driving charge in Connecticut by applying for an alcohol education program.

The 78-year-old Salisbury resident appeared in Bantam Superior Court on Wednesday to request the program, which requires offenders to take classes before charges are dropped.

Torn was pulled over near his home in December while driving a car with a Christmas tree tied to the top. He pleaded not guilty in January.

Torn's lawyer says his client could qualify for the program even though he has two previous drunken driving arrests. Those charges came in New York where he was acquitted in one case and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in the other.

A prosecutor wouldn't say if he will oppose Torn's application, but says the actor seems eligible.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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