Bruce Springsteen had charges of driving while under the influence and reckless driving against him dropped.
The multi-millionaire rocker, known as ‘The Boss’, was instead handed a £355 ($500) fine after pleading guilty to drinking inside a national park.
During the humour-filled hearing, the 71-year-old was asked by the judge: “Mr Springsteen, I need to know how long you need to pay that fine.”
“I think I can pay that immediately, your honour,” the singer responded.
He instructed the star to pay by next Wednesday.
The Dancing in the Dark singer was charged on November 14 at Gateway National Park in Sandy Hook, New Jersey, with drunken driving, reckless driving, and consuming alcohol in a closed area.
He was stopped on his motorbike to take a picture with fans near the park’s lighthouse and accepted a Patron tequila shot from one of them in full view of watching police.
When approached by a park ranger, the singer reportedly admitted he’d consumed two shots of tequila but refused to take an initial breathalyser test.
In his report, the ranger wrote that Springsteen “smelt strongly of alcohol”,
had “glassy eyes”, and was “visibly swaying” back and forth.
But yesterday, prosecutors dropped the two main charges against the rock star during a virtual hearing as he appeared before Judge Anthony Mautone.
The appearance saw more than 160 people log on to the Zoom hearing, prompting the justice to say: “This poor defendant can’t go anywhere in private.”
Springsteen faced three misdemeanors, including operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving, and consuming alcohol in a closed area.
News of the arrest earlier this month came just days after Springsteen appeared in and narrated a Super Bowl advert for Jeep, in which he implored Americans to unite amid recent bitter division.
The advert has since been shelved.
Springsteen agreed to plead guilty to the charge of consuming alcohol at Gateway National Recreation Area, a Government property where alcohol was banned just three years ago.
Prosecutors agreed to drop the other two charges.
“During the defendant’s field sobriety test, he declined to take a preliminary breath test but did submit to the breath test at the rangers station,” Assistant US Attorney Adam Baker said.
He noted that Springsteen blew a .02, well under the 0.8 legal limit.
“Based specifically on the .02 blood alcohol content reading, the government moves to dismiss,” Baker said.
Springsteen admitted to consuming two “small shots of tequila,” and when asked if he knew it was illegal to drink there, he responded, “Yes, I was.”
Judge Mautone fined Springsteen £355 plus £28 in court fees.
Springsteen has three driving violations dating back to 1973, including using a mobile phone in the car.
“Rarely would you see a driver’s abstract so devoid of any entries as I see before me, Mr Springsteen,” the judge noted Springsteen had faced £3,450 in fines and six months in prison if the charges had been pursued and proven.