In 2004, when gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps was just 19-years-old, he was charged with drunk driving in Wicomico County, Maryland. Undoubtedly, the star athlete hoped that this would be his last run-in with Maryland police. Unfortunately, that's not the case.
This week, Phelps was once again arrested and charged with drunk driving in Maryland. The arrest came early Thursday morning after the world’s most decorated Olympian had visited the new Horseshoe Casino in downtown Baltimore.
According to court documents, Phelps was stopped for speeding on Interstate 95 outside of Fort McHenry Tunnel after allegedly going 84 mph in a 45 mph zone and swerving. During the stop, the officer claimed he "smelled a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage” and believed Phelps' eyes appeared "red" and "bloodshot.” The officer said Phelps’ speech was also slurred.
Phelps was asked to perform three field sobriety tests and allegedly failed two before declining to take the third. A breathalyzer test that was performed is said to have measured a blood alcohol level of 0.14, which is well over the legal limit of .08.
Since this was Phelps’ second DUI offense in the state and he was speeding excessively before being pulled over it is possible that the retired Olympian could face major consequences. Maryland law treats repeat offenses very seriously as well as DUI offenses with aggravating factors such as excessive speeding.
Although the court documents did not list a lawyer who will be representing Phelps in the matter, it is obvious that he will need competent legal representation in order to avoid a lengthy jail sentence and/or a significant driver’s license suspension.
Source: Baltimore Sun, “Michael Phelps' blood alcohol level was 0.14 at time of arrest,” Jean Marbella, Oct. 1, 2014