A lot of famous people have been arrested for drunk driving in Florida, but few have been in the news as much as Tiger Woods has over the past few months. That’s because the nature of his DUI arrest, and how he’s dealing with it, are somewhat unique in the world of celebrity DUI.
Tiger Woods was arrested for drunk driving in Florida at two in the morning last May. He was found asleep behind the wheel of his vehicle, and when police arrived it was obvious that the car had been damaged. Although he passed the breathalyzer test he was still charged and arrested for DUI because the toxicology report showed he had several different drugs in his system.
This past August he entered the Florida DUI first-offender program, also known as Florida’s Diversion program, and because of the nature of the program he was able to enter a guilty plea for the lesser charge of reckless driving.
The Florida Diversion Program involves an offender spending a year on probation, paying $250 in fines and court costs, and attending DUI school. The offender must also perform 50 hours of community service and attend an impaired driving victim workshop. In Tiger’s case, he’ll also be required to submit to random drug tests.
There is no jail time involved with his plea deal, and if he completes the program he will still have the reckless driving charge on his permanent record. He can ask a judge to remove the reckless driving charge, but if he’s charged again he’ll still be a second-time drunk driving offender in Florida. If he doesn’t complete the program he’ll have a second-degree misdemeanor on his record.
Florida isn’t the only state with a Diversion Program, and it’s slowly becoming a way for many first-time drunk drivers to correct their mistake and move on from a drunk driving charge. With someone like Tiger Woods currently enrolled, it’s definitely going to bring more attention to diversion programs everywhere.