When the news broke that Tiger Woods was arrested for DUI on May 29, 2017, the web exploded with reports. Woods' unfavorable booking photo was released by law enforcement. As with any arrest, especially concerning a celebrity, the presumption of innocence guaranteed by our constitution is disregarded and the rush to judgment is on.
Just hours after the arrest articles reported from law enforcement sources that Woods was “arrogant” during the arrest, was “all over the road” and “refused a breathalyzer”. Articles crowed that Woods' arrest was a lesson for all of us, don't drink and drive, that this arrest was the end of Woods and his legacy was tarnished further. Another case solved? Not exactly.
Later the same day, Woods issued his own statement that NO ALCOHOL WAS INVOLVED and that he had an unexpected reaction to prescribed medication. He further indicated that he was fully cooperative with police and thanked them for their professionalism.
The lessons here are many. As with any DUI or criminal case, law enforcement puts out their version of events. Arrest reports are written to convict, not exonerate. Prosecutorial agencies typically support law enforcement's version of events. It is then up to the accused to fight against the weight of the government's accusations. That is why the burden of proof on the government is so great: beyond a reasonable doubt.
But as in Tiger's case, there often is an alternate version of events than what is reported. The lesson with anyone accused is to immediately take action by retaining an experienced defense attorney.
The other lesson is that you can be arrested for being under the influence of any intoxicant. Woods' version of events is entirely credible and unfortunately common. Driving while under the influence of even prescription medication that cause impairment is unlawful. Key is that the drug must cause impairment, not just be present. An effective attorney is critical in every criminal case, especially in fighting a Driving Under the Influence accusation.