Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps has been arrested and charged with DUI in Baltimore, Maryland. Phelps is the most decorated Olympic athlete with 22 medals, 18 of them gold.
He was arrested on September 30th at around 1:20 am just after the toll plaza out of the Fort McHenry Tunnel on Interstate 95. According to police reports his trial is scheduled for November 19th.
Speeding, Failing Field Sobriety Tests
Police found Phelps speeding on the interstate travelling at 84 mph in a 45 mph zone. The officer who stopped him also noticed that Phelps had crossed the double yellow lines. When Phelps was stopped the officer noticed that his eyes were bloodshot, that his speech was slurred, and that Phelps was unable to complete field sobriety tests. The officer could also smell alcohol in Phelps breath. Moreover, he was argumentative. When asked about alcohol consumption, Phelps said that he had had three or four drinks with the last being two hours before his arrest.
Blood Alcohol Tests
Blood alcohol tests revealed that Phelps had a 0.14 percent blood alcohol count. The legal limit for BAC in Maryland is 0.08 percent.
Phelps has enrolled in a six week program to deal with his alcohol problems. This means that he will be unable to compete in swimming competitions until the program is completed. While the swimming association has not yet banned or suspended Phelps they have the right to do so.
Phelps faces multiple legal charges such as DUI, speeding, and crossing double yellow lines. This is not Phelps first DUI charges. Ten years ago, Phelps was charged with DUI when he was 19 but was not convicted. He was asked to perform community service and pay a fine. This means that this will be considered Phelps first DUI conviction.
Michael Phelps needs another challenge – perhaps something more time consuming than this.
If Phelps is convicted, he faces a jail term of up to a year, a fine of $1,000, a suspended license for six months, and so on. However, if Phelps sentencing takes place on or after December 29th, ten years after his first DUI sentencing, he could again be sentenced to probation and avoid a jail term.
Maryland Law on DUI
Like most states in the US, Maryland too has strict laws to curb DUI. A person arrested on DUI charges faces multiple penalties such as jail term, fines, and suspended driving license. However, the actual sentence depends on various factors. The amount of blood alcohol, the actual damage caused by the DUI driver, whether it is a first time offense, and so on all affect the sentencing.
If you are arrested on a DUI charge in Maryland you need to retain the services of an experienced DUI attorney who can help reduce the charges and the sentence. Depending on the age of the offender as well as other circumstances, the sentence can be reduced to probation and the conviction dropped. This will ensure that there is no permanent record against you.
Phelps has too much time on his hands. He should invest in some businesses and find another challenge in life. Golf is apparently not it.