Tiger Woods avoids jail time
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.