Tiger Woods pleads guilty to reckless driving in Florida

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla., Oct 27 (Reuters) - Golfer Tiger Woods pleaded guilty on Friday to reckless driving, entering a program for first-time offenders to avoid a conviction for driving under the influence.

The 41-year-old athlete was found asleep in May behind the wheel of his Mercedes-Benz, which was parked alongside a road not far from his home in exclusive Jupiter Island.

Woods told police officers he could not remember where he was going and said he was returning from Los Angeles, even though his car was headed away from his home, his arrest report showed.

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US golfer Tiger Woods talks about his back injury and the future of his sponsored tournament, now named the Quicken Loans National, during a press conference in Washington, DC, March 24, 2014. Woods, who pulled out as defending champion of the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week with a bad back, appeared at the Newseum to speak about his a new sponsor for his golf tournament that will be played this summer at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, as well as his Tiger Woods Foundation. Woods went on to say that nothing has changed with his back and the Masters may be to soon to return. AFP PHOTO / Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods collects his golf ball during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods waits on the 11th green during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods hits his approach shot on the 11th hole during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods reacts to his tee shot on the 12th hole during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods hits a bunker shot on the 13th hole during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods lines up a putt on the first green during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods walks off a green during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods reaches for a golf ball on the practice ground during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods waits on the first tee during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the first hole during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 08: Tiger Woods speaks with the media after a six-under par 66 during the third round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 8, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 08: Tiger Woods speaks with the media after a six-under par 66 during the third round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 8, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 08: Tiger Woods reacts to a missed putt on the 14th hole during the third round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 8, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 08: Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the fourth hole during the third round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 8, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 07: Tiger Woods reacts to a long birdie putt on the fourth hole during the second round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 7, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 07: Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the 14th hole during the second round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 7, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 06: Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the seventh hole during the first round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 6, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 06: Tiger Woods walks across a green during the first round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 6, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 06: Tiger Woods hits a shot on the practice ground during the first round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 6, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 05: Tiger Woods plays during a practice round for the WGC Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 5, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 05: Tiger Woods speaks with the media before a practice round prior to the start of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 5, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL - MARCH 01: Tiger Woods plays a shot on the third hole during the third round of The Honda Classic at PGA National Resort and Spa on March 1, 2014 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
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Woods had five drugs but no alcohol in his system when he was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence, according to a toxicology report. The drugs included generic forms of painkillers Vicodin and Dilaudid; the mood drug Xanax; the sleeping pill Ambien; and a drug that contained THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

Woods entered a guilty plea in a Palm Beach Gardens court to the lesser charge and be placed on probation.

He will enter a diversion program offered in Palm Beach County for first-time DUI offenders. Woods is eligible because he had no prior criminal record, cooperated with police and was not involved in a crash, said Richard Clausi, an assistant state attorney.

Woods will be required to perform 20 hours of community service, Clausi said, with any nonprofit, including his Tiger Woods Foundation.

"As long as he is not paid for it," Clausi said.

If he completes the program, the reckless driving charge will be expunged from Woods' record. But if he is arrested again for DUI, he will be treated as a second-time offender, Clausi told Reuters.

Woods' attorney did not return calls seeking comment.

In a statement after his arrest, Woods apologized to fans and blamed the incident on prescription medication he was taking to manage pain from a recent back surgery.

Woods, who is second on the all-time list with 14 major titles, has not won a major championship since 2008.

The following year, he was involved in a bizarre early-morning car crash outside his home near Orlando. The incident ballooned into a sex scandal involving allegations of extramarital affairs, and both his marriage and some lucrative endorsement deals ended. (Additional reporting by Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Dan Grebler and Jeffrey Benkoe)

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