Fri, Aug 11, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Tiger Woods to plead guilty to reckless driving

AP, PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida

Tiger Woods has agreed to plead guilty to reckless driving and is to enter a diversion program that would allow him to have his record wiped clean if he completes the program, a prosecutor said on Wednesday.

Woods in May was charged with driving under the influence when he was found asleep in his car, 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 driving under the influence (DUI) offenders.

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 he completes the program, he can ask a judge to expunge the reckless driving conviction.

In the diversion program, Woods is to spend a year on probation, pay a US$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.

Woods was arrested at 2am on May 29 about 24km from his home in Jupiter, Florida, when officers found him unconscious in his car, which was parked awkwardly on the side of the road and had damage to the driver’s side.

It is not clear how he damaged the car. Officers checked the area, but did not find that he had hit anything.

Woods did not 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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