Gold Medalist Swimmer, Michael Phelps, Pleads Guilty to Second DUI Offense

December 30, 2014
by The Law Office of Steven L. Schwartz

Butterfly Stroke Swimming Woman

Earlier this month, the most decorated Olympian in history pleaded guilty to his second DUI offense in the past ten years. According to a report by the Washington Post, the Olympic swimmer was pulled over in Fort McHenry Tunnel in Maryland after he was allegedly observed by police crossing a double-yellow line.

Evidently, Phelps was also speeding at the time he was pulled over. The officer reported him traveling 84 miles per hour in a zone that is designated as 45 miles per hour. Once pulled over, Phelps was given a breath test that showed his blood-alcohol content was .14. The legal limit in Maryland (as well as in Michigan) is .08.

The sentencing judge took it easy on Phelps, suspending the 12 month jail sentence in favor of 18 months’ probation. While on probation Phelps will be under a court order not to consume alcohol. In addition, Phelps will likely have his driver’s licenses suspended.

This was Phelps second DUI offense in the past ten years. He was also charged with driving under the influence back in 2004. However, because that was his first offense at the time, he avoided conviction by accepting a term of probation and agreeing to speak to high-school students about alcohol awareness.

Drunk Driving Charges in Michigan

Much like the laws in Maryland where Phelps pleaded guilty to DUI, the laws of Michigan prohibit operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) and punish offenders harshly.

In Michigan, a first-time offender convicted of OWI can face up to:

  • $500 fine;
  • 93 days in jail;
  • 360 hours of court-mandated community service;
  • License suspension of up to 30 days, with license restrictions continuing for another 150 days;
  • Court-ordered placement of an ignition interlock device;
  • Six points added to your driver’s record;
  • $1,000 “Driver Responsibility Fee” for two consecutive years.

Punishments for a second- or third-OWI offense within a seven-year period increase dramatically, potentially resulting in a one-year jail sentence and permanent revocation of driving privileges. Given the serious nature of the crime and the potential exposure to punishment if convicted, it is imperative that anyone charged with a OWI offense in the State of Michigan secure dedicated defense counsel.

Have You Been Charged With an OWI Offense?

If you have recently been charged with an OWI offense in the State of Michigan, you should consult with a dedicated Michigan OWI defense attorney as soon as possible. Attorney Steven Schwartz has years of experience representing clients in all kinds of criminal matters, including first-time and subsequent OWI offenses. When possible, he aims to get his clients out of the court system and into a diversionary program that won’t result in a conviction on their record. To learn more about how to effectively defend against OWI charges, and to speak to a dedicated criminal defense attorney about your case, call (240) 930-5019 to set up a free initial consultation today.

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