Tiger Woods recently made the news, but unfortunately, it was not for his golf game. Woods was arrested and charged with driving under the influence after he was found sleeping behind the wheel earlier this summer. Woods was in Jupiter, Florida at the time of the incident. According to CBS, in the early morning hours of May 29th, officers spotted Woods' “Mercedes parked on the side of a six-lane road, part of it in the road and part of it in the bicycle lane.” Woods was sleeping at the wheel with his engine turned on. In addition, “the brake lights were on and the right turn signal was blinking.” CBS reports that there was damage to the driver side of his vehicle but that it is unclear how the damage occurred.
When officers questioned Woods he appeared confused, stating he had been in LA and was heading to Orange County. His speech was slurred, he had trouble completing the field sobriety tests, and he had a hard time keeping his balance. Dash cam footage was released showing that Woods had “little capacity to stand still without swaying, repeat simple instruction[s] or put one foot in front of the other.” Officers placed Woods under arrest for DUI.
Woods did tell officers that he had not been drinking and this turned out to be true as he took two breath tests when he got to the jail and both registered his blood alcohol content as 0.0. Rather, Woods had been under the influence of medications. According to CBS, Woods had “told officers he was taking the painkiller Vicodin and Xanax, which treats anxiety and insomnia, to cope with his fourth back surgery in April.” In a statement, he claimed responsibility for the incident and stated that “What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn't realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly.” The toxicology report later revealed that Woods' had five different drugs in his system including, Vicodin, Dilaudid, Xanax, Ambien, and THC at the time of his arrest. CBS states that these combinations can cause “unconsciousness, slowed breathing and confusion.”
Woods has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors. He is going 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.” CBS reports that the diversion program entails a year of probation and a $250 fine as well as court costs. In addition, while in the program, Woods would have to “attend DUI school and perform 50 hours of community service.” On top of these requirements, Woods will “have to attend a workshop where victims of impaired drivers detail how their lives were damaged and face other conditions.”
Fulton County DUI Attorney
As Woods case shows, a driver can get charged with a DUI while taking completely legal and prescribed medication. The law is similar in Georgia: if a law enforcement officer believes that an individual is too impaired to be behind the wheel then that individual can be charged with driving under the influence, even if the only thing the driver took was prescription medication.
If you have been charged with a DUI after taking medication or other drugs, don't face the criminal justice system alone. Richard Lawson is a knowledgeable and skilled Fulton County DUI attorney who has been defending clients accused of driving under the influence for over two decades. Contact his office today for a free case consultation by calling (404) 816-4440 or contact us online.