When Tiger Woods was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in 2017, the legendary golfer spent the night in jail… but how was the experience for him?
News feeds around the world were in turmoil in late May 2017 when a police officer noticed a Mercedes-Benz being stopped but “partially blocking the bike lane,” according to a police report published by Golf. The responding officer also noted that “the vehicle’s rear brake lights and right turn signal indicator were still active”. Approaching the vehicle, the officer determined that the driver was none other than Woods – and after interacting with him, both he and his backup determined that Woods appeared unable to stay awake , and didn’t know where he was. Woods also struggled with a field sobriety test. Shortly thereafter, he was arrested and taken to the Palm Beach County Jail for observation and drug and alcohol testing.
He was released the next morning and issued a statement which said: ‘I want the public to know there was no alcohol involved. What happened was an unexpected reaction to the prescribed medication. It’s worth noting that the prescription drugs were administered after Woods underwent spinal fusion surgery the month before, according to Golf Monthly. Independently apologized the golf champion spoke extensively to everyone he had let down – and he also had something to say to the officers he dealt with during the ordeal.
Tiger Woods thanked the officers for their professionalism
According to Tiger Woods himself, the officers he dealt with the night of his arrest displayed nothing but excellent behavior. In fact, he even gave them a greeting in his statement. “I would like to personally thank the representatives of the Jupiter Police Department and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office for their professionalism,” he wrote (via Golf Digest).
Indeed, videos of Wood’s arrest and detention were released soon after his release, and it seems his experience was handled with some dignity. In dashcam footage of his arrest, released by Golf.com, one of the responding officers calmly guides Woods through the field sobriety test, even as the golfer stumbles through the motions. In another video of the arrest released by The Guardian, officers can be seen escorting Woods to the police car, friendly once again.
As for his experiences in prison itself, Woods once again met nice officials. In fact, he even managed to get a laugh out of you. As seen in video footage shared by WPLG Local 10, when asked about his hair color, he murmured, “Mostly brown and fading.” He later earned another chuckle from the same officer as it took him a few seconds to to get the breathalyzer right. And throughout the experience, it seems like the cops took his comfort seriously and helped him into the chair to prevent his handcuffs from digging into his back.
Tiger Woods vowed to ‘make sure this never happens again’
Tiger Woods was treated kindly by all the officers involved in his 2017 arrest, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have regrets. Not even close. In his release statement, Woods vowed to “do everything in my power to ensure this never happens again” (via Golf Digest). And it was a promise he kept. Nearly a month after his arrest, Woods shared on Twitter that he was receiving “professional help with managing my medication and how I manage back pain.”
A few months after the incident, BBC News reported in October that a toxicologist had found traces of several substances in his system, which Woods had disclosed on the night of his arrest. Rather than face drink driving charges, Woods pleaded guilty to reckless driving. According to ABC News, this meant participating in a diversionary program as well as community service. Woods hasn’t spoken publicly about his experience on the show, so we’re not sure if he had such a heartfelt experience in doing so.
Whether Woods’ treatment had anything to do with star-struck officials, prosecutors don’t seem to think it was a factor. In fact, they didn’t think any part of the situation was affected by who he was. Per The Guardian, the prosecutor’s view was, “He’s not going to be treated any differently than everyone else.” Anyway, something tells us this is an experience Woods doesn’t want to repeat!