Michael Phelps announced he was admitting himself to rehab on Sunday. Turns out, it was just the first lap of his post-DUI comeuppance. On Monday, USA Swimming hit the Baltimore native with a suspension.
Michael Phelps was all wet Tuesday after being arrested for drunk driving in Baltimore City. A day later, the Olympic swimming champion isn’t looking much better as the full story begins to air out. Turns out, Phelps was gambling even before deciding to get behind the wheel of his 2014 Range Rover, and tested nearly twice the legal blood-alcohol limit.
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.
Last night, Maryland Delegate Don Dwyer was arrested for driving under the influence after a police officer pulled him over a little past midnight. Dwyer told the officer he’d had two beers at a Baltimore bar earlier that evening — and then proceeded to fail field sobriety tests and refuse to take a breathalyzer. This is especially not good since Dwyer is currently awaiting sentencing for boating under the influence charges in connection to an August 2012 boat crash that caused several injuries. (In that accident, his blood alcohol level was .2, more than twice the legal limit of .08.) Several Maryland political officials have called on Dwyer to resign.
The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that states drop the drunken-driving threshold from a .08 blood-alcohol content to a .05 in an effort to reduce the number of deaths caused by drunken driving by 10 percent. For some perspective, if the recommendation were adopted, a 100-pound adult would risk exceeding the limit after a single drink and 200-pound adult after two (drunk in quick succession).
A new study conducted by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation found that drunk driving arrests for women have increased thirty-six percent in the last ten years. But what’s really interesting is the demographic: compared with males, female drunk drivers are older, better educated, lower paid, and likely to be primary caregivers to children.
What’s to be made of the data? Has mothering gotten more stressful as women who work outside the home are still expected to take on the lion’s share of housekeeping and child-raising responsibilities? Has the taboo on drinking during the day lifted somewhat? Are these women unfulfilled by occupations they are overqualified for? Or is i that police officers are less likely than they were ten years ago to let an impaired driver off on a warning, and women are bearing the statistical brunt of that shift?
But even if the increase in arrests has more to do with the officers than the drivers, the demographic differences between men and women who drive drunk imply that they do so for different reasons. But moving beyond mere speculation as to exactly what those reasons are requires further research.