U.S. Olympic swimming great Michael Phelps won’t be getting into the pool anytime soon. The 18 time medal winner announced that he would be checking into an in-patient treatment program following his arrest last week for drunk driving. According to a USA Today report, Phelps is alleged to have been speeding (going 84 in a 45 mph zone), driving recklessly and illegally crossing double lines while going through the Fort McHenry Tunnel on I-95 in Maryland.
It remains to be seen how the charges will be resolved, especially given that last week’s arrest was Phelps’ second drunk driving charge in the past 10 years. He was first flagged in 2004. Also, given that he has a prior record, Phelps is in danger of being subject to higher monetary fines as well as a longer stint in jail. Legislators believe that repeat drunk driving offenders are a danger to the public, and that they should have learned from their first experience with DUI. Hence the stiffer sentences, higher monetary penalties and additional time that one’s driver’s license will be suspended.
Additionally, USA swimming has suspended Phelps for six months, which may permanently damage his ability to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro.
In the meantime, Phelps’ post arrest actions are an example of what a person should do if arrested for a second time for drunk driving. Seeking help is a sign that you are taking responsibility for your actions, which is critical when facing criminal charges.