Tiger Woods Says DUI Arrest Was Due To Medication, Not Alcohol

By Keri Blakinger 05/30/17

"I didn’t realize the mix of medications affected me so strongly."

Tiger Woods' mugshot
Photo via Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

On Monday, golf great Tiger Woods was charged with driving under the influence, according to Florida jail records. The 41-year-old was picked up around 3 a.m. in the city of Jupiter, CNN reported

The legend of the links was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail around 7 a.m. and released on his own recognizance just under four hours later. Afterward, he released a statement blaming his mix of post-back surgery meds for the arrest. 

“I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved. What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn’t realize the mix of medications affected me so strongly,” he said. “I would like to apologize with all my heart to my family, friends and the fans. I expect more from myself too.”

It has yet to be revealed whether Woods tested positive for alcohol or any other substance during the time of arrest.

Woods owns a ritzy home on Jupiter Island and two years ago opened a restaurant at Harbourside Place, according to the Palm Beach Post. He was less than 10 minutes away from the upscale eatery at the time of his arrest.

Although the California native has stacked up 14 major wins—a record topped only by Jack Nicklaus—he’s been out of the game in recent months in the wake of multiple back surgeries. 

His latest surgery was a little over a month ago, as he detailed in a blog post last week. “It is hard to express how much better I feel,” he wrote. “It was instant nerve relief. I haven’t felt this good in years.”

Before resorting to surgery, Woods explored alternative paths. “I could no longer live with the pain I had. We tried every possible non-surgical route and nothing worked,” he wrote. “I had good days and bad days, but the pain was usually there, and I couldn’t do much. Even lying down hurt. I had nerve pain with anything I did and was at the end of my rope.”

Although Woods expressed optimism about an eventual return to golf, he clarified that it could be at least two to three months before he can twist his back and get back to his winning ways.

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Keri Blakinger is a former drug user and current reporter living in Texas. She covers breaking news for the Houston Chronicle and previously worked for the New York Daily News and the Ithaca Times. She has written about drugs and criminal justice for the Washington Post, Salon, Quartz and more. She loves dogs and is not impressed by rodeo food. Find Keri on LinkedIn and Twitter.