Elton John Lyricist Bernie Taupin Arrested for DUI
Bernie Taupin, Elton John's longtime songwriting partner and the lyricist for the vast majority of John's hits, was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of driving under the influence. Through his lawyer, Taupin has strongly denied any wrongdoing.
Taupin, who moved to Southern California's Santa Ynez Valley during the '80s, allegedly ran into trouble on May 5. According to one report, Taupin attracted attention when he attempted to pull into a residential driveway, but missed the turn and backed into a fence as he was trying to pull out.
Although Taupin was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a California Highway Patrol spokesperson said no court date has been set, and declined to reveal the results of the blood alcohol test administered at the time of his arrest.
Taupin's lawyer, DUI defense attorney Darryl Genis, sent us the following statement regarding the incident via e-mail:
"Mr. Taupin's vehicle became disabled on the side of the road. There is no evidence nor any witness to establish who the driver was at the time. Ms. Taupin was summoning AAA when the first of five police cars, and an even greater number of actual officers arrived. Officers told the Taupins they would assist with the disabled vehicle. Instead, they launched into a DUI investigation disregarding the fact that they did not know (or have an eye witness) as to who was driving the vehicle when it became stationary alongside the barbed wire fence. Furthermore, these events took place after sundown on a very dark, unlit road, and Mr. Taupin suffers from night vision problems as well as hearing loss. Police may have misconstrued his hearing and night vision difficulties as signs of intoxication.
The incident has received unnecessary attention, and, in the upcoming weeks, Mr. Taupin and his family anticipate that his elected official (District Attorney Joyce Dudley) will exercise the good judgment she has learned over the years and months and uncover the truth of this matter: he was not DUI, and that he did not have a proscribed blood alcohol level at all. No drugs were involved, and it will be established that any alcohol levels will be insignificant and below the legal limit. To insure that all his legal rights are respected and enforced from this point forward, Mr. Taupin has retained the services of Constitutional Defense Attorney Darryl Genis, and any further enquiry should be directed to him."
6/14/13 update: According to Genis, the prosecutor has decided not to file this case, agreeing "that there is insufficient evidence to support the charges."
Predominantly known for his work with Elton John, Taupin has also intermittently pursued a solo career; he released a series of albums under his own name during the '70s and '80s, including 1980's 'He Who Rides the Tiger' and 1987's 'Tribe,' as well as a pair of records with the band Farm Dogs during the '90s. His latest collaboration with John, 'The Diving Board,' is set for release in September 2013.