WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. >> Fresh from a stumble at the Grammys and muffing the national anthem at the Super Bowl, singer Christina Aguilera was arrested early Tuesday near the Sunset Strip on suspicion of being drunk in public but will not be prosecuted, authorities said.
Aguilera, 30, was "extremely intoxicated" when a car driven by her boyfriend was stopped at about 2:45 a.m. on Clark Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Bill McSweeney said.
The car was stopped just off the Sunset Strip, not far from such famous nightspots as Whiskey A Go-Go and the Viper Room.
The driver, Matthew Rutler, 25, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and jailed on $5,000 bail, sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said.
Aguilera was arrested on suspicion of being drunk in public so that she could be held at the West Hollywood sheriff’s station, Whitmore said.
"She was cooperative. She was not belligerent in any way whatsoever," Whitmore said.
He did not know much the 5-foot-2, 100-pound Aguilera may have been drinking.
"She was booked, she was fingerprinted and she was put in a cell," he said. "And then she’s monitored, and as she gets better, she begins to fend for herself, her head clears up and when she passes the sobriety test within the jail facility … that’s why we take them into custody, to protect them as well as others."
Whitmore said that as Aguilera got better she stated that she wanted to leave.
"When she was able to navigate and think on her own … she was released," he said.
Aguilera was released from the back of the station at about 7:30 a.m., avoiding a cluster of paparazzi out front. A friend drove her home, Whitmore said.
Aguilera was arrested because she appeared too drunk to care for herself and had no driver to take her home, McSweeney said.
The law allows deputies to detain intoxicated people for their own welfare until they sober up but there is no intention to prosecute them, he said.
"You’re sitting in a car drunk. You have every legal right to be there but when we come across you we say you can’t drive and we’re not going to put you on the sidewalk," he explained.
Aguilera won’t be charged with a crime, although the misdemeanor arrest will remain on her record, Whitmore said. "Technically it’s an arrest, but from the very beginning there was never an intention to prosecute," he said.
Calls to Aguilera’s agent, Tracy Brennan, and her publicist, Nicole Perez, weren’t returned Tuesday.
Aguilera recently split from music executive Jordan Bratman, the father of her 3-year-old son. She filed for divorce in October and their split becomes official April 15.
Aguilera lost her footing at the Feb. 13 Grammy Awards during a tribute medley to singer Aretha Franklin. She also made headlines by botching a line while singing the national anthem at the Feb. 6 Super Bowl.