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Monday, December 6, 2021

Bruce Springsteen loses Jeep ad after drunk driving charge

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Jeep is pulling a U-turn on its Super Bowl ad campaign with Bruce Springsteen after police revealed that the singer was charged with drunk driving late last year in his home state of New Jersey.

Springsteen was arrested on Nov. 14 in the Gateway National Recreation Area for allegedly drunk driving on his motorcycle, the National Park Service confirmed on Wednesday. He was cited for driving while under the influence, reckless driving and consuming alcohol in a closed area.

Springsteen was “visibly swaying back and forth” during a sobriety test, “took 45 steps during the walk-and-turn instead of the instructed 18” and refused to take a breathalyzer, the arresting park officer said in documents filed in federal court on Thursday.

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The officer wrote that Springsteen “smelt strongly of alcohol,” “had glassy eyes” and that there was a bottle of Patron tequila that was “completely empty.”

Springsteen, 71, allegedly told the officer that he’d taken two shots of tequila in the last 20 minutes before getting on his motorcycle.

Two sources close to Springsteen told the New York Times that his blood-alcohol level at the time was 0.02 per cent, below the state’s legal limit of 0.08. They spoke to the Times on condition of anonymity, and said he had stopped to talk to fans before the arrest.

The news emerged shortly after two high-profile gigs for “the Boss,” who performed at U.S. President Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20 and starred in a Jeep ad during the Super Bowl.

In the two-minute Jeep ad, Springsteen visits a chapel in Kansas — the so-called “middle” point of America — and talks at length about healing political divisions by meeting in the middle.

Jeep released a statement saying it “would be inappropriate for us to comment on the details of a matter we have only read about and we cannot substantiate.” But the company said, “it’s also right that we pause our Big Game commercial until the actual facts can be established.”

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The company also pulled the Springsteen ad from its social media channels.

“Its message of community and unity is as relevant as ever,” a Jeep spokesperson said. “As is the message that drinking and driving can never be condoned.”

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) said it was “outraged” to learn that Springsteen’s arrest was kept quiet for three months.

“The fact that this arrest was not revealed by authorities in New Jersey until after Springsteen’s appearance driving a Jeep in a high-priced Super Bowl commercial is infuriating,” it said in a statement.

Springsteen has not commented publicly on the charges. His lawyer and publicist have not responded to requests for comment from the AP and the New York Times.

—With files from The Associated Press

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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