In the wake of Bruce Springsteen’s relatively light sentence after being arrested for driving under the influence last November, Jeep has reinstated its high-profile Super Bowl ad starring the singer.
After news of the arrest emerged earlier this month — just days after the ad first aired — Jeep removed the ad from YouTube and other sites, in a commentary against drunk driving. In a hearing on Wednesday, Springsteen pleaded guilty to consuming alcohol in a restricted area, but the driving under the influence and reckless driving charges were dropped for lack of evidence. The singer was fined $500 plus fees.”As we stated previously, we paused the commercial until the facts were established,” a rep for Jeep wrote in a statement to Variety. “Now, that the matter has been resolved, we are unpausing the film.”
The singer was arrested on Nov. 14 near the Sandy Hook Lighthouse in Gateway National Recreation Area, a federal park along the northern New Jersey coast. He had apparently consumed one or two shots of tequila that had been offered by fans, and was arrested almost immediately after starting his motorcycle.
News of Springsteen’s arrest did not surface until February 10 th and although the singer’s camp did not comment on the matter, as more details arose, the story became more confusing. Fans were baffled that such a thing would happen to the singer — who is not a teetotaler but has never been known to be a heavy drinker — and Jeep quickly removed the recent Super Bowl ad starring Springsteen from their YouTube page.
“It would be inappropriate for us to comment on the details of a matter we have only read about and we cannot substantiate,” Jeep said in a statement to Variety at the time. “But it’s also right that we pause our Big Game commercial until the actual facts can be established. Its message of community and unity is as relevant as ever. As is the message that drinking and driving can never be condoned.”
Further unconfirmed details emerged that presented conflicting versions of the severity of the offense. The Asbury Park Press (a town near to Springsteen’s home that often featured in Springsteen’s songs) cited a law-enforcement report as saying the singer’s blood alcohol level was .02 — far below the legal limit of .08 — and the New York Post cited a “source close to Springsteen” as saying the 71-year-old singer had accepted a single shot of tequila offered by a fan. The source said Springsteen had been riding his motorcycle in the Gateway National Recreation Area, a federal park in Sandy Hook, N.J., and pulled over to take pictures with fans; he then accepted the shot offered by one of them, in full view of police officers.
The arrest also did not delay the surprise release of a new podcast series featuring Springsteen with former President Barack Obama, airing on Spotify and produced by Higher Ground Audio, which was founded by Obama and his wife, Michelle.