The diversion program for intoxicated drivers that Tiger Woods is expected to enter Wednesday is one of several across the country aimed at reducing the number of repeat offenders and backlogs of court cases.
The 41-year-old superstar golfer is scheduled to plead guilty at a court hearing to reckless driving, a less severe charge than driving under the influence, as part of a Palm Beach County, Florida, program that has graduated almost 2,500 first-time offenders since it began four years ago.
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Deputy State Attorney Richard Clausi, who oversees the county's misdemeanor prosecutions, said that less than 1 percent of the program's participants have reoffended. He said the key has been getting offenders to take responsibility for their actions without requiring a trial and making sure they complete the program."It's still early, but we think it has been a success," he said.
In the diversion program, Woods will spend a year on probation and pay a $250 fine and court costs. He also must attend DUI school, perform 20 hours of community service and attend a workshop where victims of impaired drivers detail how their lives were damaged. Since he was intoxicated with prescription drugs and marijuana, according to court records, he will also be required to undergo regular drug tests.