Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

Michael Phelps Arrested for DUI After Speeding in Tunnel

Swimmer Michael Phelps, who holds the all-time record for winning Olympic gold medals, apparently likes to go fast out of the water as well. Phelps was pulled over in Baltimore early this morning after being clocked going 84 mph in a 45-mph zone inside the Fort McHenry Tunnel.

But the speeding violation may end up being the least of Phelps' problems. After failing a field sobriety test, officers tested Phelps' blood alcohol concentration and found it twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent, reports TMZ.

Phelps was subsequently booked for DUI before being released. And unfortunately for Phelps, this is not his first arrest for DUI in Maryland.

2004 DUI Arrest

Phelps was previously arrested for DUI in Maryland in 2004 when he was just 19 years old. As part of a plea deal with prosecutors, Phelps pleaded guilty to DUI in exchange for 18 months of probation.

Although DUI laws vary widely by state, in general, DUI offenses following a first offense are punished more severely than a first-time DUI, with "habitual offender" penalties including the revocation of driving privileges, automatic felony charges, possible vehicle confiscation, and increased jail time and fines.

Maryland DUI Law

Under Maryland DUI Laws, a person who receives probation before judgment for a first-time DUI is not eligible to receive probation for a second DUI within 10 years of the first -- which could mean that Phelps may not be able to agree to a plea deal similar to the one in his 2004 case this time around.

Fortunately for Phelps, Maryland's so-called "lookback period" for DUI arrests is five years, meaning that this DUI will not likely be considered a "second offense" for purposes of potential criminal penalties. However, even if he's once again considered to be a first-time offender, Phelps may still be facing up to one year of jail time, a $1,000 fine and a minimum drivers license suspension of six months.

In addition to DUI, Phelps was also charged with excessive speeding and crossing double lane lines, reports TMZ.

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