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Michael Phelps is ‘Deeply Sorry’ for His Second DUI
When people think of Olympic super swimmer Michael Phelps, they probably don’t envision a young man who drives under the influence of alcohol. And yet, that’s exactly what happened early Tuesday morning in Maryland. It’s yet another reminder that alcohol can impact anyone’s life – even the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time.
A Late Night Turns Even Later
According to the Maryland Transportation Authority’s report, Phelps was clocked going 84 mph in a 45 mph zone. Officers also noted the white 2014 Land Rover crossing the double-lane lines as Phelps drove through the Fort McHenry Tunnel in Baltimore. Officers pursued Phelps, following him to the end of the tunnel, where he immediately pulled over to the side of the road.
Once officers realized Phelps was slurring his words a bit, he was asked to get out of the car and perform a series of field sobriety tests. Multiple sources have reported that the Olympian bombed the sobriety tests and was found to have a blood alcohol content of almost twice the legal limit.
Phelps was booked into jail and later released.
History Repeating Itself?
Phelps has been in this situation before. In fact, he was arrested in 2004 by the Maryland Transportation Authority and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Being a minor at the time, Phelps’ family worked to strike a plea deal with local prosecutors. He pled guilty to DUI and was placed on 18-months of probation.
In 2009, British tabloids published a photo of Phelps smoking marijuana from a bong. The damaging photograph was allegedly taken while the Olympic swimmer attended a party at the University of South Carolina. In later interviews, Phelps accepted responsibility for his actions and claimed the embarrassing incident allowed him to grow, appreciate living sober, and learn from his mistakes.
Shortly after the image went public, Phelps was suspended from competitive swimming for three months and dropped by one of his biggest sponsors.
Where Does He Go from Here?
Phelps released a statement shortly after being released from jail.
“Earlier this morning, I was arrested and charged with DUI, excessive speeding and crossing double lane lines. 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,” said the 29-year-old.
I know these words may not mean much right now but I am deeply sorry to everyone I have let down.-Michael Phelps
Since he returned to competitive swimming in April, Phelps faces some serious backlash over the incident – especially from his sponsors. He currently has deals inked with Under Armour, Subway, Visa, and Aqua Sphere.
So far, only USA Swimming has released a statement about Phelps’ arrest and DUI charge. The organization said the news was “disappointing and unquestionably serious” and that U.S. athletes are expected to “conduct themselves responsibly in and out of the pool.”
Learn more about the signs of addiction and treatment options.