Bruce Springsteen fined $500 for drinking on federal property but DWI is dropped

Bruce Springsteen in a dark sport coat and white shirt
Bruce Springsteen got off with a fine Wednesday after evidence didn’t support a federal drunken-driving charge against him.
(Charles Sykes / Associated Press)

Bruce Springsteen’s November DWI arrest has ended in a $500 fine and a couple of dropped federal charges.

The singer admitted consuming alcohol in a closed area during a virtual court appearance Wednesday, which was covered by the Associated Press. Springsteen told the court he had “two small shots of tequila” and said under questioning that he knew it was illegal to drink alcohol at Sandy Hook, which is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Baker said the government couldn’t make its case on misdemeanor charges of driving while intoxicated and reckless driving. Springsteen had blown only 0.02 on a breath test done at a ranger’s station after his Nov. 14 arrest. Though state law didn’t figure into the case, New Jersey’s blood-alcohol limit is 0.08.

Judge Anthony R. Mautone praised the 71-year-old’s driving record and decided to issue only a fine of $500, plus $40 in court costs, to which Springsteen responded, “I think I can pay that immediately, your honor.” The other charges were dropped.


Bruce Springsteen, who made a splash with his Jeep ad during Super Bowl LV, was arrested back in November in a recreation area near his New Jersey home.

Feb. 10, 2021

A source close to Springsteen told the New York Post in February that the musician had been riding his motorcycle on the Sandy Hook peninsula in November when he was spotted by fans who asked him to take some pictures with them.

He took the photos and also took a shot of liquor that was offered to him, the source said. But the veteran musician, who launched a new Spotify podcast with Barack Obama this week, did it in full view of the cops.

“Park police saw what happened and they immediately pulled Springsteen over as he drove away,” the source said.

Springsteen was cited for suspicion of DWI, reckless driving and consuming alcohol in a closed area, a National Parks Service spokeswoman told The Times after the arrest became public knowledge earlier this month. He was cooperative throughout the arrest, she said.

‘Renegades: Born in the USA,’ a new Spotify podcast, will feature former President Obama and Bruce Springsteen exploring current issues and fatherhood.

Feb. 22, 2021

The one victim of the situation, at least temporarily, was Springsteen’s epic Super Bowl ad for Jeep, which was taken down from YouTube after the arrest went public.


“It would be inappropriate for us to comment on the details of a matter we have only read about and we cannot substantiate,” a spokesperson for Jeep said in a statement after the arrest went public. “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.”