Bruce Springsteen is scheduled to have his day in court next week on DWI and other charges, officials said.
He is due to make an appearance via video conference before Magistrate Judge Anthony Mautone on Feb. 24, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Springsteen is facing three charges: drunken driving, reckless driving and consuming alcohol in a closed area.
The 71-year-old Freehold native who lives in Colts Neck was charged Nov. 14 at Gateway National Recreation Area on Sandy Hook, near the lighthouse.
A park ranger said in an affidavit attached to the violation notice that Springsteen looked glassy-eyed, failed a field sobriety test and refused to give a preliminary breath sample.
All those charges are Class B misdemeanors, crimes that carry a possible sentence of 30 days to six months and a fine of as much as $5,000.
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Legal experts said it is highly unlikely that Springsteen will spend any time behind bars.
And there are pretrial diversion programs for defendants accused of federal misdemeanors. Those programs allow a defendant to receive a dismissed charge and avoid a permanent conviction.
Whether Springsteen would be eligible was not immediately clear.
He is being represented by Monmouth County attorney Mitchell Ansell, who did not return calls.
A source told the Asbury Park Press that Springsteen recorded a blood alcohol content reading of 0.02, a quarter of the legal threshold for intoxication under both federal and New Jersey law.
But under the section of the federal code that Springsteen was charged with, it doesn’t matter, at least not under the law.
That section states that a person can be charged with the offense if operating a vehicle “under the influence of alcohol, or a drug, or drugs, or any combination thereof, to a degree that renders the operator incapable of safe operation.” The statute mentions the blood alcohol content of .08 as a legal limit in another section.
Police and legal experts say Springsteen has a chance of beating the DWI rap, especially since Breathalyzer tests are known to be less reliable for people over 70.
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