Saturday, November 28, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer comments on Tiger Woods' non-DUI

This Chicago DUI lawyer knows it's a slow news day, but anytime "America's son", Tiger Woods, is in the news the day isn't slow. Unfortunately, he wasn't in the news for his prowess on the golf course. He ended up going to the hospital and being treated and released for minor facial lacerations. Initially, it was reported that the lacerations were from a car accident. Now it appears there maybe more to it than that.


Tiger has yet to be formally interviewed by the Florida Highway Patrol -- that should happen this afternoon. But we're told Tiger had a conversation Friday -- with a non-law enforcement type -- detailing what went down before his Escalade hit a fire hydrant.

We're told he said his wife had confronted him about reports that he was seeing another woman. The argument got heated and, according to our source, she scratched his face up. We're told it was then Woods beat a hasty retreat for his SUV -- but according to our source, Woods says his wife followed behind with a golf club. As Tiger drove away, she struck the vehicle several times with the club.

We're also told Woods had said during the conversation Friday he had been taking prescription pain medication for an injury, which could explain why he seemed somewhat out of it at the scene.

As I recently posted, in Illinois, you can be charged with a DUI if your driving is impaired based on a prescribed drug. If Mr. Woods was traveling on public roads in Illinois with the same prescription pain medication I believe he would be charged with a DUI. Here's the Illinois statute on point:
625ILCS 5/11-501

(b) The fact that any person charged with violating this Section is or has been legally entitled to use alcohol, other drug or drugs, or intoxicating compound or compounds, or any combination thereof, shall not constitute a defense against any charge of violating this Section.

Is that clear? Just because your treating doctor gave you a prescription does not entitle you to drive. Once the police decide you are impaired and you either 1) tell them your doctor gave you a prescription or 2) go to the hospital and get treated (this may well include a blood draw or urine sample that reveals the drug at issue)you could very well be facing a DUI charge even if you don't believe you were impaired.

In Mr. Wood's case his saving grace from being charged with a DUI,even though he was on prescribed pain medication and appeared "somewhat out of it", could very well be that he was not driving on public roads. Perhaps it's time to go through your prescription medications with your treating doctor and make sure they aren't on a list of drugs that could get you charged with a DUI.

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