Springsteen, 71, pleaded guilty to drinking tequila at a federal park, but charges of drunken and reckless driving were dropped because his blood alcohol content was well below the legal limit. The Boss agreed to pay a $500 fine plus $40 in court fees.
“I think I can pay that immediately,” he smiled, according to NJ.com.
Appearing next to his lawyer, Mitchell Ansell, for the virtual appearance, Springsteen answered a few questions about what happened at the Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook, N.J. on Nov. 14. He admitted to consuming alcohol within a “closed area” of the park where drinking was recently prohibited.
“I had two small shots of tequila,” Springsteen explained.
The songwriter was arrested on DWI charges after a park ranger spotted him take a shot, then start the engine on his Triumph motorcycle. Springsteen was “cooperative throughout the process,” a spokesperson for the National Parks Service told Yahoo Entertainment. His blood alcohol content was .02, which is below the .08 legal limit.
“The government does not believe it can sustain its burden of proof. We respectfully move the court to dismiss the two (remaining) charges,” prosecutors said on Wednesday.
After entering a guilty plea, the judge, who noted Springsteen’s clean driving history dating back to 1973, sentenced the singer to pay a fine of $540 explaining “a fine is the appropriate sentence in this case.”
When Judge Mautone asked how long Springsteen needed to pay the fine, the “Born in the USA” crooner smiled that he can pay it by the end of the day.
“Mr. Springsteen is pleased with the outcome of today’s court appearance,” Ansell said in a statement, per NJ.com, after the brief hearing. “The prosecutor was unable to provide the necessary evidence and facts as it related to the charge of driving under the influence (DUI) and reckless driving and therefore, dismissed both of those charges. Mr Springsteen, who has no previous criminal record of any kind, voluntarily plead guilty to a violation of consuming an alcoholic beverage in a closed area, agreeing to a fine of $500. We want to thank the court and will have no further comment at this time.”
Springsteen’s November 2020 arrest wasn’t made public until earlier this month. News broke shortly after the musician appeared in his first Super Bowl ad (ever) for Jeep. The company quickly suspending airings of the commercial and removed it from its YouTube page. Jeep reinstated the ad on Wednesday after Springsteen’s light sentence.
“It would be inappropriate for us to comment on the details of a matter we have only read about and we cannot substantiate,” Jeep told Variety in a statement at the time it removed the ad. “But it’s also right that we pause our Big Game commercial until the actual facts can be established. Its message of community and unity is as relevant as ever. As is the message that drinking and driving can never be condoned.”
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