Bruce Springsteen DWI Charges Dismissed
Bruce Springsteen's brief legal battle is over. Two charges against the rocker were dropped during his first court appearance, while the musician pleaded guilty to a third lesser charge.
The legendary rocker, sitting alongside his lawyer, appeared via video conference before Magistrate Judge Anthony Mautone. Springsteen pleaded guilty to "consuming an alcoholic beverage in a closed area," and in doing so confirmed previous reports that he drank "two small shots of tequila" on Nov. 14, 2020, at New Jersey's Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook, N.J.
Springsteen was fined a total of $540 for the misdemeanor, though a higher amount or even jail time could have been on the table had the judge deemed it necessary. In this case, Judge Mautone noted the rocker's sparkling record - no prior criminal charges and only three driving violations since 1973 - is assessing the appropriate fine amount.
Two further charges - operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and reckless driving - were dismissed. Assistant U.S. attorney Adam Baker attested that the government did not have sufficient evidence to move forward with those charges, noting that Springsteen's blood alcohol content at the time of arrest was .02, "well under the legal limit."
Springsteen was arrested in November after reportedly taking two shots with fans who had recognized him riding his motorcycle. News of the arrest became public in early February, with additional details continuing to emerge in the days afterward. According to a probable-cause statement obtained by CNN, a police officer said he saw Springsteen "consume a shot of Patron tequila and then get on his motorcycle and start the engine." Springsteen told the officer he'd consumed two shots in the previous 20 minutes; the officer also noted that "Springsteen smelt strongly of alcohol coming off his person and had glassy eyes."
Vulture reported that Springsteen was asked to complete two field sobriety tests: a "walk and turn" test and a "horizontal-gaze" test, in which a suspect is asked to keep their head still and follow an item like a pen with only their eyes.
"When this is all resolved, I think, people are gonna have some serious doubts about the seriousness of this, especially when the actual details of this are revealed – including the blood alcohol level," a source told CNN. "I don't know why they stopped him. I mean, technically you're not allowed to drink in a state park – and I don't know, maybe, if a policeman sees somebody drinking and doesn't give them a ticket, they lose their job."