Tiger Woods. (Seth Wenig/AP file)

Tiger Woods pleads guilty to reckless driving, avoids jail

Golfer will spend a year on probation and pay a $250 fine and court costs

Superstar golfer Tiger Woods pleaded guilty Friday to reckless driving and agreed to enter a diversion program to settle a charge of driving under the influence that began when he was found passed out in his Mercedes.

Woods, 41, spoke only briefly during a hearing at a Palm Beach County, Florida, courthouse that coincidentally is on PGA Boulevard. He answered the judge’s questions about his plea agreement with prosecutors but did not make any broader statement.

In the diversion program, Woods will spend a year on probation and pay a $250 fine and court costs. He also must attend DUI school, perform 20 hours of community service and attend a workshop where victims of impaired drivers detail how their lives were damaged. The judge indicated he had completed those requirements.

Since he was intoxicated with prescription drugs and marijuana, according to court records, he will also be required to undergo regular drug tests.

The judge warned Woods to stay out of trouble.

“This particular plea agreement has no jail time on it. However, if you violate your probation in any significant way, I could revoke your probation and then I could sentence you to jail for 90 days with a fine of up to $500, is that understood?” Judge Sandra Bosso-Pardo said.

Woods, 41, nodded.

Woods arrived at a Palm Beach County courthouse in a sport utility vehicle, wearing sunglasses and dark pants and a sport coat. Police officers surrounded him as he walked down a hallway inside the courthouse.

Woods was arrested about 2 a.m. May 29 when officers found him unconscious in his Mercedes-Benz, which was parked awkwardly on the roadside and had damage to the driver’s side. It’s not clear how he damaged the car. Officers checked the area but didn’t find that he had hit anything. He was about 15 miles from his home.

His arrest was recorded by an officer’s dashcam video and released to the public.

Woods had the active ingredient for marijuana, two painkillers — Vicodin and Dilaudid — the sleep drug Ambien and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax in his system but no alcohol, according to a toxicology report released in August. He completed a drug treatment program in July. Woods has said he had been self-medicating to relieve the pain from his fourth back surgery and insomnia.

The DUI arrest was the first time Woods had been in trouble since Thanksgiving weekend 2009, when he plowed his SUV into a tree and a fire hydrant outside his then-Windermere, Florida, home. That led to revelations that he had multiple extramarital affairs and a divorce from his wife Elin Nordegren, the mother of his two children. He spent 45 days in a Mississippi clinic where he was treated for an addiction.

Woods’ 79 PGA Tour victories and 14 major titles both rank No. 2 all-time. He has not competed since February because of his back injury and is not expected to return this year. His last win was in August 2013.

Woods has said his back is improving. Even though he has been a non-factor on the PGA Tour, Forbes Magazine lists Woods as the 17th best-paid athlete in the world in 2017, making $37 million, almost exclusively from endorsements.

Curt Anderson And Terry Spencer, The Associated Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Health Care Foundation proceeds with plans for Grand Gala

Second annual fundraiser supports hospitals in eastern Fraser Valley

PHOTOS: Harrison Hot Springs Resort reopens

Reopening both celebrated and sombre as Harrison opens up again

FVRD flooding evacuation alerts in effect

Unprotected areas affected include parts of Morris Valley Road and Lougheed Highway

Extra care required from Chilliwack drivers as students return to school

RCMP are enforcing speed limits in school zones and urging motorists to be extra cautious

VIDEO: Fraser Valley Bandits super fan celebrates 100th birthday

Abbotsford resident Gladys Sautter surprised by Bandits representatives on big day

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Two more COVID-19 cases reported by Langley long term care facility

One resident, one staffer have tested positive for the coronavirus

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

Suspect sought in alleged assault, hate crime on Metro Vancouver bus: transit police

The woman then allegedly punched the teenager in the head multiple times

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Most Read