Springsteen, 71, refused breath test, was visibly swaying and reeked of alcohol during DWI bust


Bruce Springsteen refused a breath test and ‘strongly smelt of alcohol’ when he was arrested in November for DWI, a New Jersey police report says – despite the singer’s blood alcohol level reportedly being well within the legal limit.

The Boss, 71, was in the Gateway National Recreation Area on Sandy Hook back on November 14 when he was arrested for driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and drinking in a closed area.

The incident reportedly unfolded after the Thunder Road singer pulled over to take a picture with fans and accepted a tequila shot from one of them in full view of watching police.

Statements of probable cause obtained by Fox News have now revealed that Springsteen allegedly refused to take a preliminary breath test when first approached by a park ranger on site.

‘Springsteen refused to take a preliminary breath test (PBT), despite signs of intoxication namely after testing his gaze and walk and turn tests,’ park ranker R. L. Hayes wrote in the report.

Hayes further claimed that the rock icon ‘smelt strongly of alcohol’, had ‘glassy eyes’, and was ‘visibly swaying’ back and forth. 

Springsteen also allegedly admitted that he’d consumed ‘two shots of tequila in the last 20 minutes’, the park ranger claimed.

The release of the police documents follow a report from the Asbury Park Press, which said that Springsteen’s blood alcohol level was found to be 0.02 – a quarter of New Jersey’s legal limit of 0.08. 

It’s currently unclear where and how long after his initial interaction with Hayes that Springsteen took that purported test.

Bruce Springsteen refused a breath test and ‘strongly smelt of alcohol’ when he was arrested in November for DWI, a New Jersey police report says 

According to the report, the arrest took place near the lighthouse in the Gateway National Recreation Area on Sandy Hook back on November 14, 2020

According to the report, the arrest took place near the lighthouse in the Gateway National Recreation Area on Sandy Hook back on November 14, 2020

In his report, Hayes wrote that he had witnessed Springsteen ‘consume a shot of Patron tequila’ before getting on his motorcycle to ‘start the engine’.

Hayes said he then informed the New Jersey-native that drinking on Sandy Hook inside Gateway is ‘prohibited’.

‘The Patron bottle that the shot was poured out of was completely empty (750ml),’ the ranger continued, as reported by Fox. ‘I asked Springsteen if he was leaving and he confirmed that he was going to drive out of the park.’ 

The ranger also said he ‘observed four out of six clues on the horizontal gaze nystagmus test.’ 

‘[Springsteen] was visibly swaying back and forth while I observed his eyes,’ Hayes wrote. 

‘I observed five out of eight clues on the walk and turn test. Springsteen took 45 total steps during the walk and turn instead of the instructed 19. [He] refused to provide a sample on the preliminary breath test.’

Because the arrest took place on federal land, the case will be handled by the US Attorney’s Office in Newark and heard in a federal court. 

According to Hayes’ report, Springsteen was detained near the lighthouse in the park. 

The 71-year-old is expected to appear in a virtual court by the end of the month. 

The arrest took place at the beach-front Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook, New Jersey (seen above)

The arrest took place at the beach-front Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook, New Jersey (seen above)

Officials with the National Park Service (NPS) first confirmed Springsteen’s arrest to DailyMail.com on Wednesday.

He was said to be ‘cooperative throughout the process’, NPS spokesperson Brenda Ling said. 

According to TMZ, this is Springsteen’s first known arrest for DWI.

A DWI in a national park is a misdemeanor federal offense, carrying a maximum sentence of six months in jail and fines of up to $5,000. Probation can also be up to five years, according to Freeburg Law

A DWI in a national park is a misdemeanor federal offense, carrying a maximum sentence of six months in jail and fines of up to $5,000. Probation can also be up to five years, according to Freeburg Law

A DWI in a national park is a misdemeanor federal offense, carrying a maximum sentence of six months in jail and fines of up to $5,000. Probation can also be up to five years, according to Freeburg Law

It was not immediately clear why the Born in the USA singer’s arrest took almost three months to come to light but it did so just days after 96.4million viewers watched Springsteen star in an ad for Jeep during Sunday’s Super Bowl. 

The much-hyped ad was the first time the rock veteran has appeared in a Super Bowl commercial. In the two-minute clip, titled The Middle, Springsteen urged unity in America. 

‘It’s no secret the middle has been a hard place to get to lately, between red and blue, servant and citizen, freedom and fear,’ Springsteen intones, adding ‘we need the middle.’

‘Fear has never been the best of who we are,’ the Boss continues. ‘We just have to remember the very soil we stand on is common ground. So we can get there. We can make it to the mountaintop, through the desert . . . and we will cross this divide.’

The ad then ends with a dedication: ‘To the ReUnited States of America.’ 

The company has ‘paused’ the ad, meaning it now reads ‘Video unavailable’ ‘This video is private’ on YouTube.

A DWI in a national park is a misdemeanor federal offense, carrying a maximum sentence of six months in jail and fines of up to $5,000. Probation can also be up to five years, according to Freeburg Law . Pictured: Springsteen on another motorcycle he auctioned off for charity in 2008

A DWI in a national park is a misdemeanor federal offense, carrying a maximum sentence of six months in jail and fines of up to $5,000. Probation can also be up to five years, according to Freeburg Law . Pictured: Springsteen on another motorcycle he auctioned off for charity in 2008

The video has also been removed from Jeep’s Twitter but is still visible on Springsteen’s Instagram account. 

In a statement to DailyMail.com, Jeep said: it ‘would be inappropriate for us to comment on the details of a matter we have only read about and we cannot substantiate.’

‘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.’

It was not immediately clear why the Born in the USA singer's arrest took almost three months to come to light but it did so just days after 96.4million viewers watched Springsteen star in an ad for Jeep during Sunday's Super Bowl. Pictured: Springsteen chugs back a fan's half finished beer during a concert in Philadelphia, in 2012

It was not immediately clear why the Born in the USA singer’s arrest took almost three months to come to light but it did so just days after 96.4million viewers watched Springsteen star in an ad for Jeep during Sunday’s Super Bowl. Pictured: Springsteen chugs back a fan’s half finished beer during a concert in Philadelphia, in 2012

It is unclear whether Jeep were aware of Springsteen’s legal woes at the time of production.

Springsteen has famously shunned appearances in commercials over the course of his decades-long career.

However, his longtime manager, Jon Landau, revealed the decision for him to take part in Jeep’s ad was entirely ‘spontaneous’ and came after years of the company courting him.

Although his first ad, Landau told Rolling Stone the hit-maker had a heavy hand in the commercial’s artistic direction, explaining its script was ‘substantially revised by Springsteen’, adding that he also participated in the edit of the footage.

Landau said Springsteen ‘controlled every second of what you see and hear, and that’s why it feels so personal.’ 

Earlier this month, Springsteen also performed at President Joe Biden's inauguration, giving a rendition of 'Land of Hope and Dreams' at the Lincoln Memorial

Earlier this month, Springsteen also performed at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, giving a rendition of ‘Land of Hope and Dreams’ at the Lincoln Memorial

Jeep has not disclosed what fee Springsteen was paid for his appearance in the ad, nor has the company shared how much the commercial cost to make.

However, it’s likely to have cost tens of millions of dollars, with a 30-second spot of airtime during this year’s Super Bowl costing around $5.5million. At that price, Jeep’s 120-second add would have cost around $22million.  

Earlier this month, Springsteen also performed at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, giving a rendition of ‘Land of Hope and Dreams’ at the Lincoln Memorial. 

Springsteen opened the evening’s Celebrating America event, which was hosted by Tom Hanks.  

The Dancing in the Dark singer lives in New Jersey – close to where he grew up – with his wife, Patti Scialfa, whom he married in 1991. 

Springsteen’s reps have not yet returned a DailyMail.com request for comment on his arrest.  



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