The most decorated Olympian of all time is in trouble with the law once again. According to the Maryland Transportation Authority, Michael Phelps was arrested early Tuesday morning for allegedly driving under the influence.
A Maryland Transportation Authority Police Officer clocked Phelps’s white 2014 Land Rover going 84 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone in Baltimore. Following the arrest, the officer suspected that Phelps was under the influence and administered field sobriety tests. According to law enforcement, Phelps failed the field sobriety tests as well as a breathalyzer although police would not confirm the results.
On Tuesday, Phelps took to social media to issue an apology saying, “I understand the severity of my actions and take full responsibility. I know these words may not mean much right now but I am deeply sorry to everyone I have let down.”
Phelps was released from custody on Tuesday, but not before being charged with DUI, excessive speed, and crossing double lane lines.
The arrest is not Phelps’s first DUI. In 2004, when the Olympian was just 19 years old, he was arrested for driving under the influence and given 18 months of probation. In 2009, a British tabloid published photographs of Phelps smoking marijuana. Following the latter of the two incidences, Phelps was suspended from competitive swimming for three months.
USA Swimming issued a written statement in response to Phelps’s latest DUI arrest saying, “The news regarding Michael Phelps and his actions are disappointing and unquestionably serious. We expect our athletes to conduct themselves responsibly in and out of the pool.”
Like California, Maryland law allows for enhanced penalties for a second DUI conviction. However, according to Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott D. Shellenberger, because Phelps received probation before judgment in the 2004 case and therefore was able to avoid a conviction, prosecutors in this case cannot seek enhanced penalties.
USA swimming teammate, Ryan Lochte, told TMZ, “I’m not concerned…he just makes dumb decisions. He has so much money to get a driver. I even have a driver. Just stinks for the sport of swimming. But he will become smarter from this. Luckily he did not hurt himself or someone else.”
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