How Tiger Woods Can Avoid DUI Charge, Jail Time With Diversion Program


The fallout from Tiger Woods’ recent arrest will put him in company with at least 2,400 other Palm Beach County, Fla., residents.

The star golfer pleaded not guilty Wednesday in a Florida court to a driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol charge, which stems from his May 29 arrest. But he has agreed to plead guilty to reckless driving at an Oct. 25 hearing and will enter a diversion program for first-time offenders.

“He is not being treated any different than anyone else,” prosecutor Adrienne Ellis said, according to The Associated Press.

Woods can ask the judge to wipe the reckless-driving conviction from his record if he completes the diversion program, and prosecutors also will drop the more severe DUI charge.

Here’s how the AP describes the diversion program he will enter.

“… 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. Since the program began four years ago, almost 2,400 defendants have enrolled, according to the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office.”

Police found Woods asleep at the wheel of his car in the early hours of May 29. He failed a sobriety test, and police charged him with DUI and improperly stopping his vehicle. A blood test later showed the painkiller Vicodin and the antidepressant Xanax were in his system, but alcohol wasn’t.

Woods announced in June he had entered a treatment program to help him address his use of medications to combat back pain and a sleep disorder. He completed that program in July.

Although Woods isn’t expected to compete in any more PGA events this year, he’ll probably have a clean legal slate when he returns to the professional golf circuit.

Thumbnail photo via Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports Images

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