Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps was caught drunk driving in Baltimore overnight. The Baltimore Bullet was arrested on DUI charges early Tuesday morning after he was seen going almost double the speed limit in the Fort McHenry tunnel. TMZ Sports was first to the story, while WJZ-TV obtained a full police report.
About 1:40 a.m., Phelps was spotted speeding on I-95 in his white 2014 Land Rover. He was going 84 mph in a 45 mph zone, according to MDTA.
He was stopped by an officer just after the tunnel’s toll plaza, and subsequently failed sobriety tests. Authorities later booked him on charges of DUI, excessive speeding, and crossing double-line lanes. Phelps was later released.
This isn’t the Towson native’s first drunk driving charge. In 2004, he was booked on DUI after running a stop sign near Salisbury University. Phelps pleaded guilty, and served 18 months probation. At the time, the then-19-year-old said he “learned from this mistake.” He was also ordered to give speeches to students about the dangers of alcohol, and attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving victim impact panel.
Phelps was also infamously photographed taking a bong hit in 2009. He also issued an apology for that incident, saying it would “not happen again.”
After setting the record for most medals by a U.S. Olympic athlete at the 2012 games, Phelps said he was retiring from competitive swimming. But he quickly re-emerged at U.S. Nationals in August, fueling speculation that he would try to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
UPDATE (3:45 p.m.)
Phelps confirmed the incident via Twitter on Tuesday afternoon, and issued an apology.
“Earlier this morning, I was arrested and charged with DUI, excessive speeding and crossing double lane lines,” he wrote. “I understand the severity of my actions and take full responsibility. I know these words may not mean much right now but I am deeply sorry to everyone I have let down.”
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