SALISBURY, Md. - Six-time Olympic champion Michael Phelps was arrested last week and charged with drunken driving.
Michael Phelps, of the United States, holds his gold medal after setting an Olympic-record 1:57.14 in the 200-meter individual medley at the Olympic Aquatic Centre during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, in this Aug. 19, 2004 file photo. The Six-time Olympic champion was arrested last week and charged with drunken driving. A trooper saw the 19-year-old swimming sensation go through a stop sign Thursday night, Nov. 4 state police said Monday. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
A trooper saw the 19-year-old swimming sensation go through a stop sign Thursday night, state police said Monday. The trooper saw signs of intoxication and arrested Phelps for driving under the influence, police said.
Phelps also was charged with violation of a license restriction and failure to obey a stop sign. The legal drinking age in Maryland is 21.
"I want to say that last week I made a mistake. I wanted to share my feelings and I know that getting in a car with anything to drink is wrong, dangerous and is unacceptable," Phelps told The Associated Press.
"I'm 19, but I was taught that no matter how old you are you should always take responsibility for your action, which I will do. I'm very sorry this happened."
The swimmer from suburban Baltimore won eight medals at the Athens Olympics, including six golds.
Phelps, wearing a Baltimore Ravens jersey, was introduced to the crowd before the team's game Sunday night.
If Phelps is convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, he could receive a year in jail, a $1,000 fine and 12 points on his driver's license for a first offense, The (Baltimore) Sun reported. He could be subject to a 60-day sentence and a $500 fine if convicted on a first offense on the charge of driving while impaired.
On either charge, a judge could give a defendant probation before judgment or impose a lesser penalty, but the driver could still lose his driving privileges.
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