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Bruce Springsteen pleads guilty to drinking alcohol in restricted area

Charges of driving while intoxicated and reckless driving were dismissed. “Mr. Springsteen is pleased with the outcome of today’s court appearance," his attorney said.
Image: Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen at the Stand Up for Heroes event at Madison Square Garden in New York on Nov. 7, 2013.John Minchillo / AP file

Bruce Springsteen pleaded guilty Wednesday to one of three charges stemming from a November DWI arrest in New Jersey.

The rock icon, 71, appeared via video conference in a New Jersey courtroom and entered a plea of guilty to drinking alcohol in a restricted area. The judge dismissed charges of driving while intoxicated and reckless driving.

His attorney, Mitchell Ansell, said the charges were dismissed because prosecutors did not have "the necessary evidence and facts."

“Mr. Springsteen is pleased with the outcome of today’s court appearance," Ansell said, adding, "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."

Springsteen was arrested Nov. 14 at Gateway National Recreation Area, also known as Sandy Hook. An officer said he saw the musician take one shot of tequila before getting on his motorcycle and starting the engine.

The officer said he told Springsteen that alcohol was not allowed at the park and then noticed a 750-milliliter Patron bottle was empty. It's not clear how full the bottle was when Springsteen began drinking from it.

"Springsteen smelled strongly of alcohol coming off of his person and had glassy eyes," the officer said in his statement.

The "Born in the U.S.A." singer admitted to taking two shots of tequila and said he was planning to drive out of the park, according to the officer's statement. The Asbury Park Press reported that fans offered Springsteen tequila after he took pictures with them.

According to officials, Springsteen indicated four out of six clues for intoxication in an initial test and five out of eight in the walk-and-turn test. The singer also swayed when his eyes were checked and took 45 steps during the walking test instead of the 18 he was told to take, the officer said in his statement.

Springsteen initially refused to provide a sample in the preliminary breath test, but later blew a .02, a quarter of the legal limit in New Jersey, according to The New York Times.