Tiger Woods typically makes the news because of his play on the green. This time, he’s made headlines due to choices he made before getting behind the wheel of his vehicle. Last month, Woods was arrested and charged with being under the influence of prescription drugs while sleeping behind the wheel.
According to reports, officers located Woods stopped in the right lane of a street, car running, flat tires and other damage, and Woods was sleeping. When officers woke him up, Woods did not know where he was. He was asked to perform field sobriety tests and he refused. Officers administered a breathalyzer and results showed that the pro golfer had no alcohol in his system.
While Woods’ arrest is disheartening to his fans and others, there are three lessons that we can all learn.
1. Driving Under the Influence Doesn’t Always Mean “Drunk”
There are laws in the books in every state against drugged driving. In many states, there are laws that specify types of drugged driving. These laws cover prescription drugs, illicit drugs and legal drugs. This makes sense when you consider that alcohol is a drug.
If you have a valid prescription for a medication, you may be able to have your charges dropped to something more minor. This is assuming, of course, that there has been no injury and very little, if any, damage to property. However, you will need an experienced attorney to mount a strong defense on your behalf.
2. Driving Under the Influence Doesn’t Always Mean “Driving”
Because of the way the law is titled, you would assume that you need to be driving to be charged with DUI. This is not the case. You only need be around or in your car. The car doesn’t even need to have the engine on. This means that the old “sleeping it off” behind the wheel is not the best idea. An officer can cite you for DUI even if the car is off.
3. Driving Under the Influence Doesn’t Mean You Failed a Field Sobriety Test
While a police officer would certainly prefer that you took and failed a field sobriety test, you don’t have to submit to one to be charged with driving under the influence. You should be aware though that refusing to take such a series of tests may result in a separate charge. It will also typically result in your arrest for DUI as the officer only has his suspicions to go on.
In many instances, a field sobriety test can be refused without consequence but a breathalyzer cannot. It doesn’t mean that you will automatically be found guilty, but it does mean that you may have additional penalties if you are convicted.
If you are arrested for driving under the influence in Philadelphia, you need an experienced attorney by your side. DUI is a serious crime that requires a defense attorney who specializes in this type of crime. Reach out to our office today for a case evaluation and learn about your legal options.