Woods could qualify for first-time DUI diversion program


JUPITER, Fla. – While Tiger Woods awaits the next phase of his legal troubles following Monday’s arrest for DUI, his options going forward depend on how the Florida state attorney’s office chooses to proceed.

Although Woods took two breathalyzer tests which showed he had not consumed any alcohol, he told officers from the Jupiter Police Department that he had taken medication.

“What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn't realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly,” Woods said in a statement released Monday.

Depending on the results of a urine test that he took while in custody, Woods could qualify for Palm Beach County’s first-time DUI diversion program.

The program includes a monitoring component depending on what type of medications Woods was taking, as well as probation, but if he were to successfully complete the program the DUI charge would be reduced to reckless driving and his driver’s license would not be suspended.

“I think he would probably qualify, it depends on what they are going to file, but he certainly has a right to go to trial in this case,” said Michelle Suskauer, a West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer.

Although the program is not available to defendants who were involved in an accident, it’s unclear whether Woods was in an accident. The ticket issued to Woods indicates there was no “crash” or “property damage,” but officers did note damage to Woods’ vehicle, including two flat tires on the driver’s side and minor damage to the front and rear bumpers.

“I have seen the state attorney agree to a diversion program even if there was an accident, and this would be one of those situations,” Suskauer said.

Woods’ arraignment hearing is scheduled for July 5 in Palm Beach County.