New details have emerged since the report of Bruce Springsteen’s November arrest surfaced earlier this week. Springsteen was arrested at Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook, New Jersey, on November 14th. According to a police report obtained by Vulture, Springsteen told an arresting officer that he had consumed “two shots of tequila in the last 20 minutes.”
“Springsteen smelt strongly of alcohol coming off his person and had glassy eyes,” the report continued, before stating that the New Jersey singer, who was arrested for DWI, performed a “standardized field sobriety tests and observed four out of six clues on the [horizontal gaze] test.” (The horizontal gaze test refers to a test in which the suspect is instructed to follow a stimulus, such as a pen or a finger, with their eyes while keeping their head still.) A source familiar with the case told the Asbury Park Press that Springsteen’s blood alcohol content was .02, a quarter of the legal limit.
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According to Glenn Kassman, a criminal and municipal defense attorney in New Jersey who specializes in DUI/DWI cases, the case will be very hard to prove. “I would say that they’re never going to prove DWI based on that,” says Kassman, commenting on the police report. “There is a chasm — a grand canyon — between probable cause to arrest on suspicion of drunk driving or operating a vehicle in an intoxicated condition, and proof beyond reasonable doubt that he did so.” DWI laws vary state to state, but in New Jersey, there is no legal difference between DWI and DUI.
Of the police report, Kassman also noted that “there’s nothing in there to suggest that there’s any other substance” apart from alcohol. The fact that Springsteen technically faces federal charges because he was arrested in a National Park will not impact the way Springsteen’s case plays out in court, according to Kassman. “As a practical matter, it’s treated the same,” he says. “They don’t come close to establishing that he operated his vehicle in an intoxicated condition,” says Kassman.
On Wednesday, Jeep pulled Springsteen’s Super Bowl ad from YouTube after reports of his arrest surfaced. “It would be inappropriate for us to comment on the details of a matter we have only read about and we cannot substantiate,” said a Jeep spokesperson. “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.”
Springsteen is expected to have his first hearing “towards the end of February,” CNN confirmed via a spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.
“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 close to Springsteen told CNN earlier today.
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