Why Was Springsteen Arrested When He Only had A Fourth Of The Blood-Alcohol Limit?
Is Bruce Springsteen in trouble with the law? You probably have heard that the rock icon’s Super Bowl commercial was removed from Jeep’s YouTube page on Wednesday after the news of an old arrestation surfaced. This happened back on November 14th, in Gateway National Recreation Area (Sandy Hook, NJ), and it’s certainly strange that the news only surfaced now, but you can always count on TMZ for that kind of surprise. Springsteen was charged with DWI and arrested, even though he was ‘cooperative throughout the process’.
According to the press, the boss pulled over to take pictures with fans who had recognized him, and he took a shot of tequila offered by one of them. Park police saw the scene and they immediately pulled Springsteen over as he was driving away.
He was charged with ‘driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, and consuming alcohol in a closed area,’ and was arrested. However, according to the New York Post, Springsteen’s blood-alcohol content was only 0.02, whereas the legal threshold in New Jersey is 0.08.
Although The Ashbury Park Press reports that ‘Daphne Yun, spokeswoman for the National Park Service, said Springsteen was cooperative throughout the arrest,’ the NY Post reports that, according to a source close to Springsteen, ‘the incident escalated because once the officer approached Bruce on his motorcycle, he refused to take a breathalyzer test. The cop got pissed off, took Bruce in, and made him do bloodwork.’ And this is how they found out that his blood-alcohol level was only 0.02. Now, 0.02 is a very low amount of alcohol, it’s not zero, but it’s barely going to have any real effect on an adult man. However, this is in contradiction with R.L. Hayes’ declaration, the Park Ranger who wrote the report:
‘While on foot patrol, I observed a male (Bruce F. Springsteen) consume a shot of Patron tequila and then get on his motorcycle and bike start the engine. I contacted Springsteen and informed him alcohol is prohibited at Sandy Hook. The Patron bottle that the shot was poured out of was completely empty (750ml). I asked Springsteen if he was leaving and he confirmed that he was going to drive out of the park. Springsteen claimed that he had two shots of tequila in the last 20 minutes. Springsteen smelt strongly of alcohol coming off his person and had glassy eyes. I ran Springsteen through standardized field sobriety tests. I observed four out of six clues on the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. Springsteen was visibly swaying back and forth while I observed his eyes. 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 18. Springsteen refused to provide a sample on the preliminary breath test.’
When you read this, you are under the impression that Bruce Springsteen was really drunk, which is in contradiction with the 0.02% found in his blood, which is the lowest level of intoxication. So, what’s going on here? Why was Springsteen arrested when he only had a fourth of the blood-alcohol limit? Was it the work of an overzealous policeman? Or an angry cop? Some people are suggesting that the police may have held a grudge against Springsteen since the release of his 2001 song ‘American Skin (41 shots).’ The song is about the killing of Amadou Diallo by four police officers, who were acquitted of murder and other charges. At the time, ‘American Skin’ was heavily criticized by police authorities who had even urged New York City officers to boycott Springsteen’s concerts. This was 20 years ago, but with the Black Lives Matter protests this summer, the song has never rung so true. To this you could add that Springsteen has been very vocal about his disdain for Trump: ‘I believe that our current president is a threat to our democracy,’ he said last June during an interview with the Atlantic. With so many police officers endorsing Trump, could politics have played a role in his arrestation?