According to Time Magazine, golf extraordinaire Tiger Woods officially pleaded guilty to reckless driving and has agreed to participate in a diversion program as a result of a DUI charge that occurred when he was found unconscious in his Mercedes on May 29.
Woods, 41, did speak briefly at a courthouse hearing in Palm Beach County, answering the judge’s inquiries regarding his plea agreement but “did not make any broader statement.”
While a DUI conviction can cost $20,000 or more, the diversion program will require Woods to spend a year on probation and pay a $250 fee in addition to court costs. He is also required to attend DUI school and complete 20 hours of community service.
Woods has also been ordered to attend a workshop in which victims of impaired drivers share stories about how their lives have been negatively affected. Every year the lives of approximately 1.25 million people are cut short as a result of a road traffic crash, many as a result of impaired driving, and fortunately, Woods has already completed those requirements, according to Judge Sandra Bosso-Pardo.
Finally, since court records indicate that Woods was intoxicated with prescription drugs and marijuana at the time of his arrest, he is also required to submit to regular drug testing.
“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?” asked Judge Bosso-Pardo, which elicited a nod from Woods in response.
During the initial incident back in May, Woods was arrested around 2 a.m. when multiple officers found him passed out in his Mercedes-Benz, which had been parked at an awkward angle off the road and had sustained damage to the driver’s side. Woods was about 15 miles from his home, and while officers checked the area for clues, it’s unclear as to how he damaged the car.
Though Woods had no alcohol in his system, he did have the active ingredient for marijuana, as well as Vicodin, Dilaudid, Ambien, and Xanax, according to a toxicology report released back in August. Woods said that he had been self-medicating to relieve pain from his fourth back surgery in addition to battling insomnia and completed a drug treatment program in July.
Prior to this incident, Woods hadn’t been in any sort of legal trouble since Thanksgiving weekend of 2009, when he crashed his SUV into a tree and fire hydrant outside of what had been his current home in Windemere, Florida. This led to the discovery of his extramarital affairs, which resulted in a divorce from his former wife and mother of his two children, Elin Nordegren. They had been married about six years, two less than the average length of a first marriage. He then spent 45 days undergoing addiction treatment at a Mississippi clinic.
Woods says his back has been improving, although he has not competed since February and is returning to compete at the Hero World Challenge on November 30, according to Golf Digest. His last win was in August of 2013, and Forbes Magazine lists the golfer as the 17th best-paid athlete in the world this year, making at least $37 million, primarily from endorsements.