Faith rewarded for Boss fans as Bruce Springsteen DWI charges at Sandy Hook get dismissed
Two out of three, anyway, in Bruce Springsteen's DWI case at Sandy Hook. The Boss pleaded guilty Wednesday, Feb. 24, to consuming alcohol in a federal park and was fined $500 plus $40 in additional penalties.
The driving while intoxicated and reckless driving charges were dropped. Faith has been rewarded for Springsteen fans.
“Justice has prevailed, truth came out and as always Bruce handled this with class and honor,” said Howie Chaz of the Spring-Nuts Facebook group. “Another reason to call him a role model.”
“Springsteen fought the law and the Boss won.” said J.T. Makoviecki of the Jersey Shore group Jackson Pines. “Righteous.”
“Cool. It is behind him,” said Scott Stamper, owner of the Saint nightclub in Asbury Park. “Too much goodwill surrounds him.”
“I'm very happy this is over and done with,” said Audrey Hunn of the Calling All Springsteen Fans Facebook group. “I never doubted the outcome for a minute. Thank goodness Bruce and his family can put it behind them and move on. There are so many more important things happening in the world today and lucky for us we have this wonderful generous man to always make us smile.”
Springsteen, seated next to lawyer Mitchell Ansell during the Zoom hearing, said he had two “small shots” around 4 p.m. on Nov. 14 by the lighthouse on Sandy Hook, which is part of Gateway National Recreation Area.
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Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Baker said that due to Springsteen's .02 blood-alcohol breath test that he took ranger’s station that day, the government wanted to dismiss the DWI charge.
The 0.02 is well beneath New Jersey’s 0.08 threshold indicating intoxication. Springsteen was riding a Triumph motorcycle on Nov. 14 at the park.
“The government does not believe it can sustain its burden of proof,’’ Baker said of the two dismissed charges.
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U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony R. Mautone concurred, adding that Springsteen has a stellar driving record. Only two violations in more than 40 years.
“Rarely would you see a driver's abstract so devoid of any charges,” Mautone said.
The Boss said he knew it was illegal to consumer alcohol in the park, and the judge fined him for that.
“Everybody from fans to lawyers to judicial people have been kind of laughing at the point of being charged for .02," said Glen Jones, Jersey radio legend on WFMU-FM who's also been commenting on the Springsteen case for Court TV. “I can't make accusations against people but I and all my friends can't help but wonder how much of it is possible political payback. Bruce has spoken his mind over the years and for every person who says ‘right on’ another person is saying ‘just shut up and sing.’”
The Jeep short film, “The Middle” starring Springsteen, was re-posted to Jeep social media sites on Wednesday after Jeep took down the film following the Feb. 10 disclosure of Springsteen's arrest. “The Middle” was shown during the Super Bowl.
“As we stated previously, we paused the commercial until the facts were established,” said a Jeep brand spokesperson to the USA Today Network New Jersey. “Now, that the matter has been resolved, we are unpausing the film.”
“Mr. Springsteen is pleased with the outcome of today’s court appearance,” said Ansell in a statement. “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.”
The “Renegades: Born in the USA” podcast on Spotify starring Springsteen and President Barack Obama debuted on Monday, Feb. 22. It was taped at Springsteen's home in Colts Neck, which is about 20 miles from Sandy Hook.
“I'm glad the charges were dropped!” said Amalia Wright of Wurtsboro, N.Y. “The whole story seemed to me like a setup or bogus from the start.”
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Chris Jordan, a Jersey Shore native, covers entertainment and features for the USA Today Network New Jersey. Contact him at @chrisfhjordan; firstname.lastname@example.org.