By Zachary Fagenson
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (Reuters) - Golfer Tiger Woods is scheduled to plead guilty on Friday to reckless driving and enter a program for first-time offenders to avoid a conviction for driving under the influence, a prosecutor in Florida said.
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.
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 is expected to enter 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)