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Tiger Woods Incident: Silence is a legal right guaranteed by the Constitution

Tiger Woods’s recent traffic mishap in Orlando, Florida after Thanksgiving brings out interesting issues on how to handle police DUI investigations after a single-car accident.  Police are looking for wrongdoing. It is that simple. When someone is looking for wrongdoing, they usually will find it.  How you ask could Tiger Woods get in trouble for DUI?  Witnesses on the scene detected no odor of alcohol. This is true, but alcohol is not the only way you can get a DUI.  First, let’s look at what evidence we have.  Tiger was driving late at night. Tiger hopped the curb on the wrong side of the road, hit a fire hydrant, and crashed into a tree.  Tiger was on the ground unconscious when paramedics arrived and mumbled incoherently.

We have driving.  We have reckless or less safe driving. All you need for a DUI is the presence of drugs and/or alcohol at least under Georgia Law.  This brings up the point of this post.  Tiger Woods was reportedly taking prescription pain medication for a knee injury during this period.  Rumors have been circulating that the Flordia Highway Patrol is seeking a warrant for his medical records which could include any blood tests administered at the hospital.  If prescription pain medication is found in his system, that is a recipe for DUI drugs less safe or incapable of driving safely drug DUI under Georgia law.  I am not sure what DUI laws exist in Florida but I am sure they are similar to Georgia’s DUI laws.

In closing, if you are in an accident and not drinking and the police start asking about prescription medications, then tell them that it’s none of their business and your medical history is a private matter.  If they continue questioning, invoke your right to remain silent and ask to speak with an attorney before answering any more questions.  That is what Tiger did and he is currently facing an administrative fine for a traffic violation and not a DUI.