Criminal expert: Woods made mistake issuing statement on DUI
DUBLIN, OHIO | Another public embarrassment for Tiger Woods is shifting to the legal side following his arrest in Florida on a DUI charge, with one criminal expert suggesting Woods made a mistake by claiming publicly that prescription medicine was to blame.
On the eve of the Memorial Tournament, which Woods won a record five times, PGA Tour players who grew up admiring his dominance in golf wished for the best. Commissioner Jay Monahan said the tour would be there to help him.
“I think Tiger’s statement on Monday night, where he apologized and he said he was going to do everything he can in his power to make sure this doesn’t happen again, I think says everything,” Monahan told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “He’s a member of our family, and we’re going to do everything we can to help and support him.”
Jupiter Police on patrol at 2 a.m. Monday noticed a Mercedes pulled awkwardly to the side of the road with the engine running, the brake lights on and a right turn signal blinking. Both tires on the left side of the car were flat, and police described fresh damage to the driver’s side.
Inside the car, Woods was sound asleep at the wheel. Police said in incident reports that his speech was slurred and he didn’t know where he was. He was unable to tie his shoes and failed a sobriety test. A breath test registered 0.0 for alcohol, corroborating what Woods said in a statement issued Monday evening.
“I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved,” Woods said. “What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn’t realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly.”
He was arrested and briefly jailed on suspicion of driving under the influence. He also agreed to a urine test.
Woods is to be arraigned July 5 in Palm Beach County court on the DUI charge.
Katie Phang, a former Florida prosecutor, said the statement in which Woods took full responsibility could come back to haunt him if he fights the charge.
“Tiger’s statement was a bad idea. He should not have said anything,” Phang said. “Now, he can’t claim that he was not DUI and just was tired from a long day.”