Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps’ drinking and driving case has been resolved, with Phelps receiving a one-year jail sentence and 18 months of supervised probation in exchange for a guilty plea. The judge suspended the jail term, as long as Phelps complies with the terms of his probation.
Perhaps the most important term is that Phelps must not use drugs or consume alcohol until his probation is up. Besides this, Phelps’ driver’s license will be suspended for at least two months. However, he will be allowed to travel and train.
Maryland Transit Authority Police pulled over Phelps’ vehicle early on Sept. 30, for allegedly speeding and crossing double lane lines. They had him perform field sobriety tests, which they determined he failed, and his blood-alcohol level was measured at .14, above the state’s legal limit.
Phelps originally faced other charges, but as part of his plea agreement the prosecution dropped all but the DUI charge. This is the second time Phelps has pleaded guilty to drinking and driving, with the first taking place in 2004. The prior conviction might have caused him to serve jail time now, but the decade gap between arrests, the fact that he did not cause a car accident and his voluntary entry into alcohol treatment kept that off the table, the Baltimore Sun reports.
At the sentencing hearing, the judge praised Phelps for seeking out treatment and said he did not think Phelps would drink and drive again. But he warned the athlete that if he did, jail might be the only option remaining.