Late last month, Olympic athlete and professional swimmer, Michael Phelps, was arrested for suspicion of DUI in Maryland. USA Today reports that Phelps was stopped by police after an officer spotted his vehicle driving 85 mph in a 45 mph zone. The officer followed the white Land Rover Phelps was driving as it passed through a toll plaza and noticed that the vehicle appeared to be drifting out of its lane. The officer eventually stopped the vehicle once it was safely out of the toll tunnel. In his report, the officer stated that Phelps appeared intoxicated and was unable to perform standard field sobriety tests. The article states the following:
The officer said he conducted an eye test, which indicated the presence of alcohol. He then asked Phelps to do a "walk and turn" test, during which Phelps "had difficulty keeping his right foot directly in front of his left as instructed. The operator was having trouble maintaining his balance while standing."
After refusing to perform the one-leg stand test, a breathalyzer test was administered that found Phelps to have a BAC of .14. This is Phelps' second DUI and he will likely face increased penalties as a repeat offender if convicted for this charge. In 2004, he pled guilty to DUI charges in Maryland and served 18 months of probation.
His sentencing is likely only one of the issues Phelps now faces, however. Though he has not yet stood trial for this DUI charge, he is already being penalized for the incident. CNN reports that the US swim team has suspended Phelps for 6 months and announced that he will not be with the team at next year's world championships. Additionally, the media backlash has been strong as Phelps has previously received negative attention in the past for substance abuse. In 2009, for example, Phelps found himself losing sponsors and goodwill when photos of him using marijuana surfaced.
This story is noteworthy because it shows the drastic effect that a DUI arrest can have on your life. Even if Phelps is found not guilty of these charges, he is still suffering as a result of the arrest. A DUI arrest can effect anyone's reputation and career so it is important to hire the best defense possible. If you have been accused of DUI in Seattle, contact a defense lawyer right away.