Golfer Tiger Woods arrested on DUI charges
JUPITER, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Records from the Palm Beach County Jail show sports legend Tiger Woods, 41, was in and out of jail faster than it takes to play a round of golf.
Woods, who was booked under his first name, Eldrick, was booked at 7:18 a.m. and walked out at 10:50 a.m., jail records show.
The charge is driving under the influence.
According to the Jupiter Police Department, he was arrested around 3 a.m. He spent nearly four hours in jail before he was released on his own recognizance.
Woods said an "unexpected reaction" to prescription medicine - not alcohol - was the reason for his arrest. He said he understands the severity of the incident and takes full responsibility.
"I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved," he said. "What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn't realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly."
Woods said he wanted to apologize to his family, friends and fans, adding that "I expect more from myself, too."
"I will do everything in my power to ensure this never happens again," he said.
Jupiter Police released an arrest report on Tuesday. The report stated that Tiger Woods was asleep at the wheel but had no alcohol in his system when officers spotted his car stopped along a Florida road.
It also stated that Woods was alone and wearing his seatbelt when officers found his Mercedes early Monday in the right lane. The car's engine was running and its were on.
Officers reported that Woods, upon having to be woken up, had "extremely slow and slurred speech." Woods told the officer that “he was coming from LA California from golfing.” He also told them that he took several prescriptions. The police report showed that one of the four medications he was on is Vicodin.
According to the report, Woods was confused and asked how far he was from his Hobe Sound home. Officers said Woods was cooperative but failed a roadside sobriety test. Breath and urine tests showed no alcohol in his system.
Woods' arraignment in Palm Beach County court on a DUI charge is scheduled for July 5.
Woods, a 14-time major champion who ranks No. 2 in PGA Tour history with 79 victories, has not played golf for four months. He had a fourth back surgery on April 20, and just five days ago reported on his website that the fusion surgery brought instant relief from pain and that he "hasn't felt better in years."
Painkillers are generally prescribed after surgeries like Woods had. Many of them carry warnings to avoid driving while taking them. Other medicines, including over-the-counter allergy medicine or anti-anxiety medicines, can also cause drowsiness and include warnings about driving.
This arrest is the latest stumble on the golf legend’s climb back to the top of his game.
“I was sad [to hear of the arrest]. I’m a huge fan of Tiger Woods and I’m actually glad that no one was hurt, including Tiger,” said Eric Gooden of Boca Raton.
“If it’s true, then he should have to pay the price just like everybody else. Just because he’s a good golfer doesn’t give him any special privileges,” said Leroy Barnett of Miami.
However, Notah Begay, a close friend and roommate of Woods when they played at Stanford, was empathetic. Begay was arrested for aggravated drunken driving in 2000 when he ran into a car outside a bar in New Mexico. He was sentenced to 364 days in jail, with all but seven days suspended.
"It's embarrassing for Tiger, something that you can't go back and change," Begay said on Golf Channel from the NCAA men's golf championship in Sugar Grove, Illinois, where he was working for the network. "I've been there myself. ... But it was a turning point in my life. Hopefully, it's something he'll learn from, grow from, take responsibility for and use it to make some changes."
Begay later said on Golf Channel he had exchanged text messages with Woods after the arrest.
"He seemed like he was in a better place," Begay said.
This is not the first time Woods has been in the headlines for a dust up away from the golf course.
In 2009 he was hospitalized after a fight with his wife outside their Orlando-area home. Afterwards, Woods publicly acknowledged a slew of extra-marital affairs and publicly apologized.