Music icon Bruce Springsteen saw his driving while intoxicated charge dismissed in a New Jersey court Wednesday, though he admitted to doing shots of tequila in a park where drinking is prohibited.
The singer was arrested in Sandy Hook’s Gateway National Recreation Area on Nov. 14, a spokesperson for the park confirmed to Oxygen.com earlier this month when news of the arrest broke.
The 71-year-old musician received three citations during that arrest: one for DWI, one for reckless driving and one for consuming alcohol in a closed area. He pleaded guilty to consuming alcohol in a closed area on Wednesday during a virtual hearing, NJ.com reports.
“I had two small shots of tequila,” Springsteen admitted during the briefing, referring to drinking in a section of the park that was prohibited from the public.
Prosecutors then dropped the other two charges against him, because his blood alcohol content was measured at 0.02%, below the legal limit of 0.08%. Prosecutor Adam Baker noted that they “cannot sustain its burden of proof” to go forward with the reckless driving and DWI charges.
The judge sentenced Springsteen to pay a fine of $540 for the tequila-related charge. He then noted that the “Born in the U.S.A.“ singer had a relatively clean driving record, despite having three prior violations including using a cell phone while driving.
“I am going to impose nothing but a fine,” Magistrate Judge Anthony Mautone said, according to NJ.com. “Rarely would you see a driver’s abstract so devoid of any entries. I’m convinced a fine is the appropriate sentence in this case.”
When asked how long he needed to pay the fine, Springsteen reportedly smiled and told the judge, “I think I can pay that immediately.”
News of the arrest came days after Springsteen was prominently featured in a Super Bowl commercial for Jeep. The ad appeared to invoke a middle-America vibe, which his songs have long been linked to. It was pulled following the news of his arrest, the Washington Post reported.
Springsteen’s lawyer Mitchell Ansell told Rolling Stone in a statement after the hearing that Springsteen is pleased with the outcome of the hearing.
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