We’ll be waiting to see how Tiger Woods’ drug use and DUI charges pan out. What happens next may very well shape the way drowsy driving in its various forms—driving while drowsy, drugged driving, driving while impaired, driving under the influence—will be prosecuted in the future.
In Florida, conviction of a first-time DUI offender (which Tiger Woods qualifies as) could mean up to six months in jail, a year in probation, $1000 in fines and fees, a dozen hours of “DUI school,” 50 hours of community service, and suspension of Woods’ driver’s license for at least six months. Meanwhile, he remains in rehab as a condition to maintain 50/50 custody of his two children.
For some context regarding drowsy driving legislation at that time: The Huffington Post reported just two days after the crash that “Early Saturday morning, a truck driver who reportedly hadn’t slept in more than 24 hours crashed and killed comedian James ‘Jimmy Mack’ McNair. Actor Tracy Morgan was also critically injured. And only a few days before the accident, the Senate Appropriations Committee moved to weaken federal trucker fatigue rules and regulations.”
Anyone can fall asleep at the wheel: a tired mom, a night shift worker commuting home, a truck driver on a long haul, a teenager heading out for morning football practice. It’s easy to revel over Memorial Day weekend and forget how lost sleep from late nights and busy days can lead to fatal car accidents. Please drive safely this holiday.