The State Of Florida vs. Tiger Woods
Why do some celebrities get charged with a crime, and others donʼt? Is it because of their specific occupation, their gender, how much money they make, or how “beloved” or important they are to their fans and judiciaries?
Last month actress Heather Locklear was allegedly behind the wheel, near her home, when she hit a street sign and left the scene without notifying anyone. A neighbor reported the accident the next day, whereupon police located her vehicle and matched some debris that was left at the scene. Locklear was arrested, issued a misdemeanor citation, and her case is still in revue for a felony DUI.
A recently published book by Steve Helling called Tiger: The Real Story gives details as to what happened back in November 2009, the night when Tigerʼs SUV met up with a tree on his street. He also details why Woods wasnʼt charged with a DUI despite evidence to the contrary.
After Woodʼs smashup, his wife Elin told police that he had been drinking. To those attending him at the scene, it was apparent that Woods was impaired and unfit to operate a vehicle. “I would bet everything I own that he was not fit to drive,” says one of the officers who investigated the case. “But Iʼll never be able to prove it, because our hands were tied. The powers that be didnʼt want to tangle with Tiger; they just wanted the situation to go away.”
When a paramedic asked Elin if he was on any medication, she ran back into the house and returned with a bottle of Ambien, and one bottle of Vicodin. The paramedic put the bottles in a bag as to accompany Woods to the hospital. When the Florida Highway Patrol came on the scene, an officer also asked Elin if Tiger had been drinking. She said “He drank some earlier that night.” The officer notated it.
Police felt that they had sufficient evidence to subpoena Woodsʼ blood from the hospital. By doing so, this would allow them to build a stronger case and charge him with DUI. The Request for Investigative Subpoena stated: “The driver lost control of his vehicle, crashed and was transported to the hospital. A witness stated that the driver had consumed alcohol earlier in the day and the same witness removed the driver from the vehicle after the collision. Also, the same witness stated that the driver was prescribed medication (Ambien and Vicodin). Impairment of the driver is also suspected due to the careless driving that resulted in the traffic crash.”
Officers were stunned to learn that their request had been denied by the Assistant Attorney Steve Foster, head of the State Attorneyʼs Office Intake Division. His reply to the request was “insufficient information provided to lawfully issue subpoena.”
One Florida Highway Patrol officer involved in the case said, “I have gotten subpoenas issued with a lot less evidence than that. I don’t know why the subpoena wasn’t issued. I really don’t. All I know is that everything was done by the book, and I believe that subpoena should have been issued.”
Makes you wonder how someone of Woodsʼ stature can dodge a DUI bullet as big as this, and just get by with a $164 careless driving ticket, yet Heather Locklear is facing a possible DUI charge any day. All things equal, shouldnʼt Tiger be facing the same penalty as Locklear, or is his case another example of a “bigger” celebrity being above the law?