PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla., Oct 27 (Reuters) – Golfer Tiger Woods pleaded guilty on Friday to reckless driving, entering a program for first-time offenders to avoid a conviction for driving under the influence.
The 41-year-old athlete was found asleep in May behind the wheel of his Mercedes-Benz, which was parked alongside a road not far from his home in exclusive Jupiter Island.
Woods told police officers he could not remember where he was going and said he was returning from Los Angeles, even though his car was headed away from his home, his arrest report showed.
Woods had five drugs but no alcohol in his system when he was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence, according to a toxicology report. The drugs included generic forms of painkillers Vicodin and Dilaudid; the mood drug Xanax; the sleeping pill Ambien; and a drug that contained THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
Woods entered a guilty plea in a Palm Beach Gardens court to the lesser charge and be placed on probation.
He will enter a diversion program offered in Palm Beach County for first-time DUI offenders. Woods is eligible because he had no prior criminal record, cooperated with police and was not involved in a crash, said Richard Clausi, an assistant state attorney.
Woods will be required to perform 20 hours of community service, Clausi said, with any nonprofit, including his Tiger Woods Foundation.
“As long as he is not paid for it,” Clausi said.
If he completes the program, the reckless driving charge will be expunged from Woods’ record. But if he is arrested again for DUI, he will be treated as a second-time offender, Clausi told Reuters.
Woods’ attorney did not return calls seeking comment.