A spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department confirmed that officers observed Aguilera's 25-year-old boyfriend Matthew Rutler driving in a manner that made them believe he was under the influence at around 2:45 a.m. on Tuesday. Aguilera was a passenger in the vehicle, and sheriff's department spokesperson Nicole Nishida said that the 30-year-old singer was "so intoxicated she couldn't take care of herself" and was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of suspicion of public drunkenness.
Around noon ET on Monday, Sheriff's department spokesperson Steve Whitmore held a press conference to clarify the situation, explaining that while Aguilera was, technically, arrested, the department had no interest in prosecuting her for any crime.
"She was not capable of taking care of herself. ... She was incapacitated, not belligerent, but just intoxicated," Whitmore said. He confirmed that Aguilera was arrested on a public intoxication charge but said it was a decision made by the arresting officers as a public welfare and public safety issue.
"If a person is incapacitated and can't take care of themselves, that's [an arrest] a decision made by the deputy on the scene," said Whitmore, who explained that because Aguilera was the passenger and was incapacitated and the driver was arrested for suspicion of DUI, she was taken to the Hollywood jail and held until she could "fend for herself."
Aguilera was booked into the West Hollywood sheriff's station and released on $250 bail at around 7:30 on Monday morning. A spokesperson for the singer could not be reached for comment at press time. An arrest report stated that Rutler was also booked on a misdemeanor charge of suspicion of driving under the influence at the West Hollywood station just before 3 a.m., with bail set at $5,000. [Editor's note: An earlier version of the story stated that Rutler's bail was $30,000, but Whitmore said those initial reports were inaccurate.] It was not known at press time if Rutler had been released on bail.
Whitmore said that because Aguilera was booked, fingerprinted and place in a holding cell, there will be a record of a misdemeanor arrest, but no prosecution. He said deputies monitored her as she sobered up, and once she passed a sobriety test, she was allowed to leave.
An anonymous source told TMZ that if "the driver had NOT been arrested for DUI, [Christina] would have never been in trouble." Another unnamed source allegedly close to the singer told the site that her confidants have been trying to get the performer into a rehab facility for several weeks.
Aguilera's personal life and career have been on a slide over the past year, beginning with the flop of her Bionic album, which has sold only 250,000 copies in the U.S. to date. That was followed by a hastily canceled U.S. tour, the disappointing returns for her big-screen debut in "Burlesque" and her divorce from husband Jordan Bratman. Those incidents were followed by her infamous flubbing of the national anthem at February's Super Bowl and a stumble on the Grammys stage a week later, amid tabloid reports that her partying had gotten out of hand.