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3 Legal Lessons From Tiger Woods' Drugged Driving Arrest

By George Khoury, Esq. | Last updated on

Tiger Woods has unfortunately found himself in the spotlight again due to poor choices behind the wheel. Tiger was arrested for allegedly being under the influence of prescription drugs while sleeping behind the wheel.

When the officer woke Tiger up, who was behind the wheel of his Mercedes, he was stopped in the right lane, with his car running, and had flat tires and other damages. The officer alleges that Tiger did not know where he was, and then failed to perform a series of field sobriety tests. However, the breathalyzer results showed no alcohol in his system.

While some might be sad to hear about Tiger's arrest, there are some valuable lessons that can be learned.

1. You Don't Have to be "Drunk" to Get a DUI

Every state includes drugged driving in their drunk driving laws. Most states even have specific DUI charges for the different varieties of drugged driving, covering both illicit drugs, legal drugs, and prescription drugs. After all, alcohol is a drug, and a DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence.

When it comes to your valid prescriptions, often if you can convince a prosecutor the incident was a mistake, and there were no injuries or third party damages, then you might be able to plea the charges down to something minor.

2. You Don't Have to be "Driving" to Get a DUI

Like getting fired for stealing boxes on your day off from work, you don't even have to be driving to get a DUI. If you are in, or around your car, that can often be enough for an officer to cite you for DUI. The car doesn't even have to be on. This means that, in most jurisdictions, "sleeping it off" can lead to DUI charges.

3. You Don't Have to Submit to a Field Sobriety Test

While you may not be legally required to submit to a field sobriety test, like the once great golfer was compelled to do, refusing can often result in an arrest. Generally, most states allow a person to choose which type of alcohol test to submit to. But states can also impose harsh consequences for refusing tests, including arrest and automatic license suspensions. Most commonly, field sobriety tests can be refused without statutory consequences, but a breathalyzer or blood test cannot be refused without statutory consequences (meaning actual legal consequences).

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