Tiger Woods Charged with DUI
UPDATE TO STORY BELOW.
Tiger Woods Dashcam video released below from Fox News.
One of the most dominant golfers in the entire game, Tiger Woods was arrested and brought into custody around 3 a.m. on Monday morning for driving under the influence. According to Jupiter, Florida police spokeswoman, Kristin Rightler, Tiger was booked at 7:18 a.m. and released on his own recognizance without bond at 10:50 a.m. from Palm Beach County jail. According to TMZ, Police said that they did smell alcohol on Tiger’s breath. Tiger did refuse a breathalyzer test which is an automatic arrest for DUI and a driver’s license suspension under Florida state law. TMZ also reported that Woods’ people have been calling the police all morning asking if the police officer was wearing a body cam.
Tiger Woods released a statement regarding his DUI attributing his behavior to prescription medications and said alcohol was not involved.
“I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved,” he said in the statement. “What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn’t realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly.”
Regarding his recent DUI, it’s still not known if he tested positive for alcohol or any type of drugs or even prescription drugs since there is no arrest report currently available. It is also unknown whether or not he was the only person in the vehicle or if there were other people with him during the incident. A full arrest report could be released to the public as early as Tuesday and more details could surface as to if alcohol was the real culprit or if it truly was a mix of prescription medication.
Tiger made a statement saying that he apologizes to all of his friends, family, and his fans, “I would like to apologize with all my heart to my family, friends and the fans. I expect more from myself too.” He went on to say, “I will do everything in my power to ensure this never happens again.” Woods also mentioned in his statement, “I understand the severity of what I did and I take full responsibility for my actions.”
In his statement he also went on to stay, “I fully cooperated with law enforcement, and I would like to personally thank the representatives of the Jupiter Police Department and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office for their professionalism.”
According to several sources, Mark Steinberg, Tiger’s agent would not comment on whether this mix of medications was related to his recent back surgery or back problems in general and no further information to report at this time.
Tiger has been in and out of the game over the last year to year and half due to back problems. Tiger withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic in the United Arab Emirates after shooting 77 in his opening round because of back issues. He has not played since this last tournament in February, 2017.
He had a fourth back operation, in April. This operation was expected to keep him off the golf course from about six months or so, however he did write on his website that he did expect to get back on the course and start playing in PGA Tour events again and his pain was too severe to play before his surgery. After the surgery he said he felt much better, quoting “I haven’t felt this good in years”.
After the April surgery, Tiger said that his only focus was on rehab and just following his doctors orders, while only focusing on short-term goals. Tiger stated, ” I want to thank my doctors for their great work and support throughout this process. I also want to thank the fans for your phenomenal support. It means more than you know. There’s a long way to go, but as I said, words cannot convey how good it feels to be pain-free.” He also said, “Presently, I’m not looking ahead. I can’t twist for another two and a half to three months. Right now, my sole focus is rehab and doing what the doctors tell me. I am concentrating on short-term goals.”
Over the last 10 years or so, it’s a been a difficult road for Tiger. He hasn’t won a major since 2008, which was the U.S. Open. After that last major win, Tiger hit the spotlight in a negative way again, when he was involved in a crash near his Jupiter home in 2009. Tiger wrecked into a tree and fire hydrant but was only cited with careless driving and there was not any evidence that alcohol was involved in that incident. This eventually led to the scandal about Tiger being unfaithful to his wife, Elin Nordegren, which took over the news for quite some time. Around that time Tiger Woods stated, “I’m human, and I’m not perfect.” In 2010, Tiger and his wife, Elin, divorced. Tiger also reportedly went to rehab for sex addiction.
After that scandal, it took Tiger about 3 years to come back to the number 1 ranked golfer on the PGA Tour in 2013. Before that scandal Tiger was the number 1 ranked golfer for 12 straight years from 1998 to 2010. He had surpassed Jack Nicklaus with 79 career PGA wins for the 2nd spot on the all-time list. Many thought it was a sure thing he would beat Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 major wins, with Woods already at 14 major wins. Obviously that hasn’t happened and there are probably more people out there that believe that is now much more unlikely.
Tiger then has his first back surgery in 2014 and has since only played in 19 tournaments and only finished in the top 10 once. He also missed 7 cuts and withdrew from 3 tournaments. He hasn’t won a tour event since 2013 at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational.
With all of Tiger’s back problems, and now more public scrutiny for this recent DUI, his future is very unclear. Tiger did state that he still remained committed to getting back on the course and returning to the PGA Tour. When will that happen? That is still uncertain and what’s more uncertain is will he ever win again. Or more so, will he ever win a major and will he win 5 more to overtake Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 career major wins. Tiger is currently, ranked 876th. He does hold the record for 683 straight weeks as the number 1 ranked golfer, but that streak ended about 7 years ago. Where his career will go from here is unknown, he is adamant about returning to the game and playing competitive golf again. Only time will tell.
UPDATE: 5/30/17 12:53pm EST.
The police report has been released and it turns out that Tiger was telling the truth about not drinking any alcohol. He was found asleep in his Mercedez-Benz and told the police he was traveling back from golfing in Los Angeles. He was pulled over on the side of the road with his right blinker on with his foot on the break. His speech was slow and slurred and admitted to taking several prescription drugs, including the painkiller Vicodin. He failed all field sobriety tests and when asked to spell the alphabet backwards, the officer asked him he understand what they were asking him to do and his response was, “Yes, recite the entire national anthem backwards.” He then tried several more times and eventually did the alphabet backwards task correctly. He also did blow 0.000 when given a breathalyzer. He also was charged with illegally parking and is scheduled to be arraigned for the two charges on July 5th.