Drunken-Driving Charge Against Springsteen Dropped

Two weeks after news of the singer’s arrest made his Super Bowl spot that much more awkward, prosecutors settled on a $500 fine and dropped the major charges.

Bruce Springsteen at the 2019 world premiere of HBO Documentary Films’ “Very Ralph” in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

TRENTON, N.J. (CN) — Bruce Springsteen will not face prosecution for drunken or reckless driving in connection to his November arrest.

Instead the Boss — who reportedly admitted on Wednesday to taking two shots of tequila while saying hello to fans, before pulling away on his motorcycle — will pay merely a $500 fine plus $40 in fees for drinking alcohol in a closed area.

TMZ broke the news about the arrest of New Jersey’s favorite son one day after the Super Bowl in which Springsteen participated in his very first commercial, a 2-minute spot for Jeep and ostensibly freedom.

Law enforcement sources later confirmed that Springsteen was arrested on Nov. 14 after downing two shots of Patron tequila with fans while stopped near the Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook.

The arresting officer wrote he had seen the singer consume a shot of tequila and then start his motorcycle engine. According to the violation notice, Springsteen had “glassy eyes,” “smelt strongly of alcohol,” was “visibly swaying back and forth,” and refused to provide a sample on the preliminary breath test. Springsteen also failed to take 18 steps during a “walk and turn” test, instead walking 45 steps.

It was later reported, however, that Springsteen showed merely a 0.02% blood alcohol level — far less than the 0.08% threshold under state law.

Some legal experts have said merely observing somebody drink what appears to be alcohol does not provide sufficient probable cause for arrest. It is enough to be questioned, though.

A National Park Service spokeswoman reportedly said Springsteen was cooperative with police.

Springsteen’s attorney, Mitchell Ansell of Ansell, Zaro, Grimm & Aaron, did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday. Representatives for the prosecution meanwhile declined to comment.

Springsteen has said in the past that he has eschewed heavy drinking because of its impact on his father.

All three of the charges Springsteen faced in New Jersey are considered Class-B misdemeanors. Reckless and drunken driving are punishable by fines, as well as imprisonment. Drivers who show a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.08% to 0.10% can face fines up to $400 and 30 days in prison.

It is unclear whether any of the fans who offered the tequila face any charges for drinking in a closed area.

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