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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, October 28, 2017 1:00 am

Woods agrees to plea deal, avoids jail time

Associated Press

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods pleaded guilty Friday to reckless driving in a deal that will keep him out of jail as long as he stays out of trouble, resolving charges from an arrest last spring in which he was found passed out in his Mercedes with prescription drugs and marijuana in his system.

Woods spoke only briefly during a hearing at a Palm Beach County courthouse, answering questions from a judge about his plea agreement. Prosecutors dropped a driving under the influence charge for the superstar golfer, and the judge warned him to behave.

“This particular plea agreement has no jail time on it. However, if you violate your probation in any significant way, I could revoke your probation and then I could sentence you to jail for 90 days with a fine of up to $500, is that understood?” Judge Sandra Bosso-Pardo said.

Woods, 41, nodded. He did not make any statement during the hearing or outside the courthouse.

Woods will enter a diversion program and spend a year on probation and pay a $250 fine and court costs. He has already met some of the program's other requirements, completing 50 hours of community service at the Tiger Woods Foundation, Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg said.

Aronberg didn't say specifically what Woods did with the charitable group, but said he met the terms of the deal. Woods also attended a workshop where victims of impaired drivers detail how their lives were damaged.

Aronberg said most DUI offenders do not qualify for the diversion program because they have a prior record or were in an accident. About 2,500 first-time offenders have graduated from the county program since it began four years ago.

“This is designed for first-time offenders, where the person made a one-time mistake and they're going to overcome it,” Aronberg said. “Mr. Woods was treated like any other defendant in his situation.”

Because he was intoxicated with prescription drugs and marijuana, according to court records, he will also be required to undergo regular drug tests. Woods is also not allowed to drink alcohol.

Woods was arrested about 2 a.m. May 29 when officers found him unconscious in his Mercedes, which was parked awkwardly on the roadside and had damage to the driver's side.

It's not clear how he damaged the car. Officers checked the area but didn't find that he had hit anything.