On Wednesday, legendary golfer Tiger Woods entered a plea of not guilty to DUI charges stemming from his May 29 arrest in South Florida.
Woods was not present at his hearing on Wednesday but according to the Associated Press, Woods will enter a pre-trial diversion program where he will have to pay a $250 fine and court costs, attend a DUI school, perform 50 hours of community service and attend a DUI workshop as part of the program.
The Palm Beach County judge also ordered a continuance of the hearing on Oct. 25, where it is expected Woods will plead guilty to second-degree misdmeanor charges of reckless driving.
According to the state attorney, the diversion program Tiger Woods entered is very common for first-time offenders (like Woods).
“He was not treated any differently than anybody else. … Anyone else in the same position as him would be offered the same exact thing,” Chief Assistant State Attorney Adrienne Ellis told the Associated Press.
Woods was arrested on May 29th after Palm Beach County Sheriff Officers found him asleep behind the wheel of his car with his “motor running and right blinker flashing.”
Police said Woods was cooperative but had “extremely slow and slurred speech” and admitted he didn’t know where he was. Tiger Woods said the situation occurred because of a negative reaction to medication prescribed to him after a recent back surgery.
The police report also claims Woods failed a field sobriety test, but upon blowing in a breathalyzer Woods blew all zeros.
Woods was prescribed the painkiller Vicodin along with the sleep aid Ambien and didn’t realize the combination of the pills would have such a negative effect. However, Woods wanted to make it clear that alcohol was not involved.
“I understand the severity of what I did and I take full responsibility for my actions,” Woods said in a statement. “I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved. What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn’t realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly.”
Woods had been fairly quiet in the weeks following his arrest but on June 19, he released a statement via Twitter.
“I’m currently receiving professional help to manage my medications and the ways that I deal with back pain and a sleep disorder,” Woods said. “I want to thank everyone for the amazing outpouring of support and understanding especially the fans and players on Tour.”
Woods has not competed in a tournament since February, due to his nagging back injury and is not expected to return this year.