Tiger Woods avoids jail time

Sunday Star-Times - - World -

Tiger Woods has pleaded guilty to reck­less driv­ing in a deal that will keep him out of jail as long as he stays out of trou­ble, re­solv­ing charges from an ar­rest in May in which he was found passed out in his Mercedes with pre­scrip­tion drugs and mar­i­juana in his sys­tem.

Woods spoke only briefly dur­ing a hear­ing at a Palm Beach County court­house in Florida yes­ter­day, an­swer­ing ques­tions from the judge about his plea agree­ment. Prose­cu­tors dropped a driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence charge for the su­per­star golfer, and the judge warned him to be­have.

Woods did not make any state­ment dur­ing the hear­ing or out­side the court­house.

Woods will en­ter a di­ver­sion pro­gramme and spend a year on pro­ba­tion, and will pay a US$250 (NZ$365) fine and court costs. He had al­ready met some of the pro­gramme’s other re­quire­ments, com­plet­ing 50 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice at the Tiger Woods Foun­da­tion, Palm Beach County State At­tor­ney Dave Aron­berg said. He also attended a work­shop where vic­tims of im­paired driv­ers de­tail how their lives were dam­aged.

‘‘This is de­signed for first-time of­fend­ers, where the per­son made a one-time mis­take and they’re go­ing to over­come it,’’ Aron­berg said. ‘‘Mr Woods was treated like any other de­fen­dant in his sit­u­a­tion.’’

Since Woods was in­tox­i­cated with pre­scrip­tion drugs and mar­i­juana, he will also be re­quired to un­dergo reg­u­lar drug tests. He is also not al­lowed to drink al­co­hol.

Woods was ar­rested about 2am on May 29 af­ter of­fi­cers found him un­con­scious in his Mercedes, which was parked awk­wardly on the road­side and had dam­age to the driver’s side. It is not clear how he dam­aged the car. He was about 25 kilo­me­tres from his home.

Woods has said he was self­med­i­cat­ing to re­lieve the pain from his fourth back surgery and in­som­nia.

The DUI ar­rest was the first time Woods had been in trou­ble since Thanks­giv­ing 2009, when he ploughed his SUV into a tree and a fire hy­drant out­side his thenWin­der­mere, Florida home. This led to rev­e­la­tions that he had had mul­ti­ple ex­tra­mar­i­tal af­fairs, and a di­vorce from his wife Elin Norde­gren, the mother of his two chil­dren.


Tiger Woods leaves Palm Beach County court af­ter plead­ing guilty to reck­less driv­ing.

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