Tiger Woods’ Arrest Shows Different Side of DUI
Tiger Woods has made headlines again. This time, unfortunately, those headlines aren’t outlining his play on the green, but the choices he made prior to getting behind the wheel. Tiger Woods was recently arrested for suspicion of being under the influence of prescription drugs after he was found sleeping behind the wheel.
According to reports, Woods was found to be asleep behind the wheel of his Mercedes. His occupied vehicle was found in the right lane with flat tires and other damage. The car was running, and officers report that Woods failed to perform field sobriety tests. Woods was administered a breathalyzer test that showed he did not have alcohol in his system.
Officials are quick to point out that the incident is one to learn from.
1. DUI Charges Can Be Filed Even if you Aren’t “Drunk”
Many people mistakenly believe that you have to be drunk to receive a DUI. This is far from the truth in every state. Throughout the country, it is also considered illegal to have prescription medication in your system while driving if that medication impairs your facilities. Remember that the charge is “driving under the influence,” and not “driving drunk.”
People who have a valid prescription for a medication may be able to get their charges reduced, particularly if there was no property damage and no injury in an incident. That said, it is still illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of a substance that impairs your ability to drive safely.
2. Operating Is Not the Same as Driving
You don’t have to be physically driving and pulled over to receive a DUI. In most states, simply being behind the wheel of your vehicle, even if it is not running, can lead to such charges. This means that sleeping it off before you drive home isn’t a good idea if the place you plan to sleep it off is the driver’s seat.
3. Field Sobriety Tests Are Not Required
Do you think you have to fail field sobriety tests to be charged with DUI? You are incorrect. You can refuse to submit to such tests and still be charged with driving under the influence. In order to encourage people to comply with a request to perform such tests, many states have enhanced penalties for refusals.
You are well within your right to refuse to perform field sobriety tests alongside the road. Your refusal doesn’t mean, however, that you won’t be charged with DUI. If an officer suspects that you are impaired, they have the legal ability to arrest you, whether or not you have taken field sobriety tests.
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Atlanta, you are facing serious consequences. Reach out to our team of experienced DUI attorneys for assistance. We will review the details of your arrest and mount a strong defense on your behalf. Your reputation, your financial status and even your continued employment may be on the line. Call us to schedule your free case evaluation today.