Tiger Woods To Enter DUI Diversion Program As Part Of Plea Deal
Tiger Woods on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to a DUI charge stemming from his arrest in South Florida on May 29, and will thus be placed in a pre-trial diversion program instead of serving jail time as part of this plea deal.
Tiger Woods DUI news
The 41-year-old golfer missed his Palm Beach County Court hearing on Wednesday. The judge ordered a continuance of the hearing on Oct. 25, the same day Woods is expected to plead guilty to the lesser charge of reckless driving (a second-degree misdemeanor) and begin the diversion program.
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As part of the program, Woods will be required to pay a $250 fine and court costs, attend a DUI school and workshop and complete 50 hours of community service. He could also be subject to random drug and alcohol testing during the program.
Woods’ lawyer Douglas Duncan declined to speak to reporters as he exited the courthouse.
“He was not treated any differently than anybody else. … Anyone else in the same position as him would be offered the same exact thing,” chief assistant state attorney Adrienne Ellis told the Associated Press.
Woods was arrested in the early morning hours of May 29 in Jupiter, Florida, about 15 miles from his home. Police say they found the 14-time major winner unconscious behind the wheel of his Mercedes-Benz, which was parked on the side of the road and suffered damage to the driver’s side wheels and tires.
The golfer was unaware of where he was when asked by authorities and stumbled and swayed during a field sobriety test, a police dash-cam video showed. Woods told officers he was taking painkiller Vicodin and anti-anxiety and insomnia medication Xanax to deal with a back surgery he received in April, his fourth since 2014. He was not found to have any alcohol in his system, however.
“I’m currently receiving professional help to manage my medications and the ways that I deal with back pain and a sleep disorder,” Woods wrote in a statement posted on Twitter on June 19. “I want to thank everyone for the amazing outpouring of support and understanding especially the fans and players on tour.”
Two weeks later, Woods issued a second statement saying he had completed an out-of-state “private intensive program.”
The golfer, who boasts 79 PGA Tour wins, has not competed since February due to his back injury and is expected to sit out the rest of the 2017 season. His last Tour victory came in August 2013 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – DECEMBER 02: Tiger Woods of the United States hits his shot on the second tee during round two of the Hero World Challenge at Albany, The Bahamas on December 2, 2016 in Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)