Michael Phelps, who won six gold and eight total medals during
this year’s Summer Olympics in Athens, was arrested and
charged with driving under the influence of alcohol on Thursday,
according to a statement released by the Maryland State Police.
The 19-year-old Phelps was pulled over in Salisbury, Md., at
about 11:50 p.m. after running a stop sign. The Maryland officer
“observed signs indicating the driver may be operating under
the influence,” according to the statement.
In addition to the DUI, Phelps was also charged with driving
while impaired by alcohol, violation of a license restriction and
failure to obey a traffic control device.
Phelps, accompanied by two friends in the car, was released at 1
a.m., and his car was turned over to a friend who had not been
“I want to say that last week I made a mistake,”
Phelps told the Associated Press. “I wanted to share my
feelings, and I know that getting in a car with anything to drink
is wrong, dangerous and is unacceptable.
“I’m 19, but I was taught that no matter how old you
are, you should always take responsibility for your actions, which
I will do. I’m very sorry this happened and it was a
Phelps, a Maryland native, is expected to attend the University
in the winter semester. He will compete for Club Wolverine, a local
club swimming team, and continue to be a training partner for
Michigan’s swim team.
First-year Michigan swimming coach Bob Bowman — who took
over the Wolverines following the retirement of the legendary Jon
Urbanchek — has been Phelps’s coach for several years,
and was disappointed with last week’s incident.
“I’ve known Michael for a long time, and he knows
that he’s made a serious mistake,” Bowman said.
“He knows he’ll have to learn from this and live with
The Maryland police reported that Phelps was “fully
cooperative” following the arrest, and Bowman has been
pleased with how Phelps has handled the situation since then.
“He’s accepted his responsibility, and he’s
ready to move forward,” Bowman said.
Phelps was on hand for the Baltimore Ravens’ game against
the Cleveland Browns on Sunday night, and he was introduced to the
crowd prior to the contest.
That appearance was part of the endless stream of publicity
Phelps has received since his record-setting performance in the
Olympics this summer.
Still, Bowman claims he never thought of removing Phelps as
training partner for Michigan and is confident that his talented
protégé will bounce back from Thursday’s
“I’ll stand behind Michael — he’s
someone who’s a very good young man, but he’s made some
poor choices,” Bowman said.
“Sometimes you’re an example of what not to
do,” he added.