Thursday October 2nd, 2014

Michael Phelps had a blood-alcohol content level of .14 -- nearly twice the legal limit -- when he was arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence early Tuesday morning in Baltimore, according to a report Wednesday night from USA Today Sports.

The 29-year-old, whose 22 Olympic medals include 18 gold, now faces his second DUI charge. His first came when he was 19 years old. He had pleaded guilty at the time and the judge gave him 18 months of probation but waived the conviction, which means he now faces his second DUI as a first-time offender. Phelps now faces up to one year in jail, a $1,000 fine and a sixth-month suspension to his driver's license, according to an Associated Press report.

Phelps was pulled over while driving a white Range Rover in the early morning hours of Tuesday morning, according to court documents cited in the USA Today report this week. A Maryland Transportation Authority officer had clocked him at 84 mph while in a posted 45 mile-per-hour zone. The officer began following the vehicle as it drifted out of its lane heading into the McHenry Tunnel. Phelps then changed lanes in front of a tractor-trailer and was pulled over shortly after exiting the tunnel. 

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Phelps smelled of alcohol and showed signs of being intoxicated including displaying red eyes and speaking with "mush mouth," the officer said. Phelps told the officer he had been coming from a nearby casino and had "three or four drinks" but that he had consumed the last alcoholic beverage two hours prior to driving and had been drinking water since then. 

Phelps was then directed out of the vehicle and had trouble balancing while doing a "walk and turn" test. He was arrested after the officer asked him to stand on one leg, to which Phelps responded, "that's not happening." 

The Olympic swimmer announced his retirement from the sport after the 2012 London Olympics but began training this spring with the hope of competing again at the Games in Rio in 2016. 

He is due to appear in court on the morning of Nov. 19 to face five charges, three of which are related to driving while impaired. 

- Marc Weinreich 

 

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