Bernie Taupin, Elton John’s Lyricist, Arrested for DUI

UPDATE: District Attorney Declines to File Charges

Originally published 6:00 p.m., May 17, 2013
Updated 12:00 p.m., May 22, 2013
Article Tools
Print friendly
E-mail story
Tip Us Off
iPod friendly
Share Article
Bernie Taupin
Click to enlarge photo


Bernie Taupin

Santa Ynez Valley resident Bernie Taupin — the lyricist behind nearly all of Elton John’s most celebrated songs, including “Tiny Dancer,” “Bennie and the Jets,” “Candle in the Wind,” “Rocket Man,” and others — was arrested May 5 on suspicion of DUI.

According to California Highway Patrol spokesperson John Ortega, Taupin, 63, was driving his 2010 Ford pickup truck eastbound on Roblar Avenue when he tried to turn into a private driveway. He failed to navigate the turn and backed up, but wound up colliding with a wooden fence. No one was hurt in the accident.

When CHP officers arrived on the scene they arrested and booked Taupin on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Ortega declined to give Taupin’s blood-alcohol level at the time of the incident, and no court date on the charge has been set.

Originally from England, Taupin moved to Santa Ynez Valley in the 1980s. He owns Roundup Valley Ranch below Figueroa Mountain where he raises and trains cutting horses for rodeo events.

[UPDATE, Monday, 10 a.m.]: Bernie Taupin’s lawyer, DUI defense attorney Darryl Genis, issued this email statement to The Independent Monday morning:

“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 judgement 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.”

[UPDATE, Wednesday, 12 p.m.]: District Attorney Joyce Dudley said her office reviewed the case file and has decided to not file DUI charges against Taupin.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Where was he coming from?...a private residence...a bar?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
May 18, 2013 at 4:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Free Bernie Taupin!!! He wrote Benny and the Jets for crissakes.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
May 18, 2013 at 1:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Wow, at least he wasn't counting headlights on the highway..

CManSB (anonymous profile)
May 18, 2013 at 4:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Song-writing is hard. Hard liquor helps sometimes.

Schifter (anonymous profile)
May 19, 2013 at 10:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Funny the celebrities who live among us but we only hear about them once they've been handcuffed.

Schifter (anonymous profile)
May 19, 2013 at 11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Feeling fine on elderberry wine."

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
May 19, 2013 at 12:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It's easier to walk away. But from his lawyer's statement, sorry seems to be the hardest word at this stage. He was probably wishing the sun didn't go down on him, so he could see the fence.

JimmyB (anonymous profile)
May 22, 2013 at 1:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

No charges will be filed against Mr. Taupin. Our District Attorney will make the correct decision. Her deputy will not repeat the mistakes of ill informed officers and the DDA will not misconstrue the evidence and reach the false conclusions of DUI in this case.

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 6:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

bernie mate, you need to sit down with reg, and trot out some new stuff. a lyricist is always writing.....

by the way....have you become the rich man behind the 4 stone walls.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 8:16 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The Taupins are super nice people, and your comment, even if only jokingly would not be appreciated by them, I can guarantee you that.

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
May 24, 2013 at 6:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

easy up hoss, i've listened to him and his mate since the early daze....if he can't take that joke, then he's lived here far too long.

burn down the mission is one of my get some looser y fronts and relax.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
May 24, 2013 at 7:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I think you misquoted the lyrics but agreed he has become the rich man behind 4 walls of stone. Amazing celebs get such treatment wonder if joe blow would have gotten the same break...unlikely. As for CHIPS do you think they are so incapable to mistake hearing loss and whatever else he claimed for being bombed? Doesn't look good on CHIP. Hey Bernie if you don't want to be bothered w
ith fame you should have stayed in Lincolnshire. Personally you and your musical partner make me sick with your eccentric lives and want to be left alone unless you need exposure again for some reason. No sympathy here...and shame on the DA of this town for now towing to celebrity. The guy has a celebrated history of alcohol abuse and no telling what else.

jbwatson (anonymous profile)
February 24, 2014 at 9:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

event calendar sponsored by: