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Judge John E. Turner (Ret.)

Not guilty plea entered by Tiger Woods

Washington golfers may be interested to learn that Tiger Woods' attorney signed a not guilty plea for his DUI charge after Woods did not attend his arraignment. The 41-year-old golfer was taken into custody on the morning of May 29 after it was suspected that he was driving under the influence.

On that date, police officers found Woods asleep behind the wheel of his vehicle, which was still running. The car was sitting partially in the right lane and in the bike lane about 15 miles from his Florida home. The vehicle had two flat tires and minor damage to the rims in addition to fresh damage to the side and rear bumper. When questioned, Woods had slurred speech and appeared to not know where he was. He said that he took several prescription medications after having back surgery in April.

Woods will participate in a year-long diversion program for first-time DUI offenders. The program requirements include community service and sitting in on a Victim Impact Panel. By entering the program, the charge could be reduced to a reckless driving count. As this was his first offense, the charge might subsequently be expunged from his record.

In the state of Washington, the consequences for a drunk driving charge include a minimum of one day in jail, home monitoring or 90 days in a sobriety program. The person may also lose his or her license for up to one year. A criminal law attorney may seek to have the charges dismissed or reduced depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, particularly if the person is a first-time offender.

ABC News, "Tiger Woods pleads not guilty to DUI charges, will enter diversion program", Morgan Winsor, Aug. 9, 2017

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