Michael Phelps’ chances to compete in the 2016 Olympic games in Rio De Janeiro may be in jeopardy after USA Swimming suspended him for six months following his recent arrest on suspicion of drunk driving. The swimming federation also dropped him from the team that will compete in next year’s world championships. According to a recent USA Today report, the 18 time medalist was stopped for speeding in the Fort Henry tunnel in Baltimore, Maryland. It is alleged that he was driving at 84 mph in a 45 mph zone and crossing over double lines.
Also, it is alleged that Phelps’ blood alcohol content was .14, which is nearly twice the legal limit for alcohol (which is .08). Because of this, he was taken into custody. Phelps posted bail and was released.
He recently issued a statement apologizing for the incident and announcing that he would be checking into a six-week in-patient treatment program to deal with substance abuse issues.
The events are significant not only because they threaten to derail Phelps’ comeback, but he also has a prior DUI conviction from 2004 that he ended up serving probation on. Repeat DUI offenders commonly face stiffer fines and the prospect of longer jail sentences. The public sentiment, which is shown through legislation, is that repeat offenders are a danger to public safety, and that it is best to keep them off the road.
However, there are a number of things that can be done to reduce the specter of harsh penalties. Entering into a treatment program before entering a plea is one way to do so. To learn about others, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.