Pro golfer Tiger Woods was arrested on Monday for allegedly driving while under the influence in Jupiter, Florida. Woods, 41, was charged with a DUI and was held at Palm Beach County Jail. He was released on his own recognizance four hours later, jail records show.
According to the arrest report, Woods was arrested at around 3 a.m. on Monday morning after he was pulled over on Military Trail, south of Indian Creek Parkway. He was booked into jail at 7:18 a.m. and released at 10:50 a.m.
In a statement published on Monday evening, Woods blamed prescribed medication he was taking for causing an “unexpected reaction.”
“I understand the severity of what I did and I take full responsibility for my actions,” Woods said. “I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved. What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn’t realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly.”
In the statement, Woods also apologized to his family, friends, and fans. “I expect more from myself too. I will do everything in my power to ensure this never happens again.”
The golfer reportedly had fusion surgery on his back in April and wrote a blog post about it last week, saying it made him feel much better. He has been plagued with injuries in recent years and even withdrew from the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens earlier this year because of a back problems, sources say.
“It has been just over a month since I underwent fusion surgery on my back, an it is hard to express how much better feel,” Woods wrote. “It was instant nerve relief. I haven’t felt this good in years.”
Woods has had a brush with the law once before in 2009 when he crashed his vehicle into a fire hydrant and a tree as he was driving away from his home in Windermere. Investigators suspected that he was under the influence at the time of the crash, but an attempt to test his blood alcohol level was denied by prosecutors because of “insufficient information.”
Florida has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country due to all the deaths, particularly of youth, that have been caused by drunk driving. As a minimum requirement, anyone convicted of a DUI will have a combined sentence that usually includes DUI school, community service, driver’s license revocation, fines, court costs, and restitution where appropriate.
Prison time varies depending on the type of DUI case. First time DUI offenses that don’t involve allegations of serious bodily harm or death are usually classified as misdemeanors. Defendants in these types of cases usually receive probation with other conditions like DUI school, driver’s license suspension, community service, etc., but no jail time.
Because the state requires a mandatory conviction, a DUI can never be expunged or sealed from an offender’s criminal record. This, among other reasons, is why it’s important for offenders to hire a DUI attorney who can guide them through the criminal justice system and identify defenses that may help them win the case.