Tiger Woods and the Issue of Medication Intoxicated Driving
Our Atlanta personal injury attorneys discuss reports that have been posted regarding the arrest of golfing superstar Tiger Woods, which highlights the risks inherent when driving after consuming prescription medication. Woods' arrest is an unfortunate and embarrassing incident for the golfing legend. While his arrest reminds people of the golfer's precipitous fall from grace, people can learn a valuable lesson from Woods' failure of judgment and be reminded of how lucky he is not to have hurt or killed anyone.
Getting behind the wheel after taking powerful pain medications, as Woods has claimed he did, endangers the lives and safety of everyone else on the road, including the driver's own life. According to news reports, law enforcement officers in Jupiter, Florida arrested Woods on suspicion of driving under the influence around 3:00 a.m. on Monday, May 29. Woods was driving near his home in Jupiter when police stopped him. Officers arrested Woods and booked him into the local jail. Woods did not post a cash bond for his release. Rather, authorities released him on personal recognizance, or his promise to appear for his next court date without posting any money or pledging property. Police anticipate releasing additional details of Woods' arrest to the public soon.
Woods issued a statement to the public about the actions that lead to his arrest. In the statement, Woods said that he suffered from an adverse reaction to powerful pain medication prescribed for his back pain. Although the Woods omitted the names of the prescription medication he allegedly consumed, he did say that he mixed several medications, which caused him to experience unexpected side effects. Woods claimed in his statement that alcohol played no role in the incident. He also said that he would do what he can to make sure an incident such as this does not happen to him again. Woods thanked the police for their professionalism and also stated that he cooperated fully with the officers in the investigation.
Woods reportedly had back surgery in April of 2017. He has endured three other back surgeries in recent years. Now 41, Woods has unsuccessfully tried to return to competitive golf after rehabilitating from the injuries. Woods' plight with back pain makes him indistinguishable from the thousands of men and women who take prescription painkillers daily so they can go to work. The difference between Woods and the overwhelming majority of the population is that he does not ever have to work again because of the money he earned during his playing career.
Woods deserves no special consideration from the public for his trouble. In fact, his actions require heightened scrutiny. Woods certainly has the financial resources to find alternate transportation and should have found some. He vowed to use better judgment in the future if he finds himself in that situation again. But, he should have known not to drive after taking prescription pain killers, either because of doctor advice or warnings on the prescription bottles.
The results of a study recently released by the Governor's Highway Safety Association illustrates the dangers of drugged driving. The study found that 43% of all drivers killed in the United States who were subsequently tested for the presence of narcotics in their system tested positive. Alcohol was not detected as frequently as drugs were in the study. Those results suggest that a greater number of people are driving high than previously suspected. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), their information suggests that drivers killed in a motor vehicle crash frequently mix drugs and alcohol.
Woods, having been charged with a crime, is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a Florida court. However, he would do well to seize the opportunity presented to him and work to educate people about the dangers of driving after taking medication.
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