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Michael Phelps gets probation after guilty plea in DUI case

Michael Phelps

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps walks into a courthouse for a trial on drunken driving and other charges, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, in Baltimore. Documents show that the 29-year-old was leaving Baltimore’s Horseshoe Casino Sept. 30 when he was pulled over for speeding and crossing the double yellow line on a highway. Police say Phelps registered a .14 per cent on a blood-alcohol test. The legal limit to drive is .08 per cent in Maryland. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)


Michael Phelps pleaded guilty to drunken driving and received 18 months of probation, but no jail time with a one-year suspended sentence, according to reports from Baltimore City District Court on Friday.

Phelps’ attorney said the swimmer participated in a 45-day treatment program in Arizona, was continuing another program in Maryland and would take part in Alcoholics Anonymous and continue alcohol counseling for at least six months, according to reports.

“For me doing the 45-day program I was able to find out a lot about myself,” Phelps told the judge, according to USA Today. “I know I have the tools to move forward, to move past this...I will continue to grow, and I will help other people to not make this mistake...I’m looking forward to a bright future.”

Phelps is prohibited from drinking alcohol during his probation but can travel and continue to train, according to the Baltimore Sun, which reported Phelps hugged former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who was supporting the swimmer in court.

Phelps was in court following his Sept. 30 arrest after he was pulled over for traveling 84 mph in a 45 mph zone, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority, whose documents said Phelps “appeared to be under the influence,” and was unable to perform standard field sobriety tests.

Phelps had a blood-alcohol level of .14 percent, above the Maryland legal limit of .08, and was “disoriented” and “argumentative,” according to police documents. The officer smelled alcohol in Phelps’ white Land Rover and in his breath. Phelps said he had “three or four drinks,” the last two hours earlier, according to police documents.

On Oct. 5, Phelps announced he would attend a six-week program and, the next day, was suspended for six months by USA Swimming. He resumed training but is not allowed to swim at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia.

In 2004, Phelps was sentenced to 18 months probation after pleading guilty to drunken driving shortly after the Athens Olympics.

In 2009, USA Swimming suspended Phelps three months after a photo surfaced of him using a marijuana pipe. He was not charged.

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