Pros­e­cu­tor: Woods to plead guilty to charge, en­ter di­ver­sion pro­gram

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Terry Spencer

PALM BEACH GAR­DENS, FLA.» Tiger Woods has agreed to plead guilty to reck­less driv­ing and will en­ter a di­ver­sion pro­gram that will al­low him to have his record wiped clean if he com­pletes the pro­gram, a pros­e­cu­tor said Wed­nes­day.

Woods, 41, was charged with driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence in May when he was found asleep in his Mercedes-Benz, ap­par­ently un­der the in­flu­ence of a pre­scrip­tion painkiller and sleep­ing med­i­ca­tion. No al­co­hol was found in his sys­tem.

Woods did not ap­pear at the Palm Beach County court­house for his ar­raign­ment. Pros­e­cu­tor Adri­enne Ellis said the golf superstar agreed to plead guilty at an Oct. 25 hear­ing and en­ter the county’s pro­gram for first-time DUI of­fend­ers.

“He is not be­ing treated any dif­fer­ent than any­one else,” Ellis said.

Woods’ at­tor­ney, Douglas Duncan, en­tered a not guilty plea to the DUI charge on Woods’ be­half and de­clined com­ment as he left the court­house.

Un­der the plea deal, pros­e­cu­tors would drop the DUI charge, which is a more se­vere charge than reck­less driv­ing. If Woods com­pletes the pro­gram, he can ask a judge to ex­punge the reck­less driv­ing con­vic­tion.

In the di­ver­sion pro­gram, Woods will spend a year on pro­ba­tion, pay a $250 fine and court costs, at­tend DUI school and per­form 50 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice. He would also have to at­tend a workshop where vic­tims of im­paired driv­ers de­tail how their lives were dam­aged and face other con­di­tions.

If con­victed of DUI, Woods would have faced a fine of be­tween $500 and $1,000, had his car im­pounded for 10 days and other con­di­tions. He also could have been jailed for up to six months, although that was un­likely, re­ceived pro­ba­tion and lost his driver’s li­cense for six months to a year.

Woods was ar­rested at 2 a.m. May 29 about 15 miles from his home in Jupiter, Florida, when of­fi­cers found him un­con­scious in his Mercedes-Benz, which was parked awk­wardly on the side of the road and had dam­age to the driver’s side. It’s not clear how he dam­aged the car. Of­fi­cers checked the area but didn’t find that he had hit any­thing.

Woods didn’t know where he was when asked by of­fi­cers, and he stum­bled and swayed through a field so­bri­ety test, po­lice dash­board cam­era video showed. Woods told of­fi­cers he was tak­ing the painkiller Vi­codin and Xanax, which treats anx­i­ety and in­som­nia, to cope with his fourth back surgery in April.

Woods an­nounced last month he had com­pleted treat­ment at an out-of-state clinic to deal with his use of pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tions.

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