Michael Phelps Charged With DUI In Baltimore, 39 MPH Over Speed Limit; Releases Statement

Photo courtesy Griffin Scott

BALTIMORE, Maryland, September 30. MICHAEL Phelps was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol early this morning in Baltimore, according to a report by TMZ.

Phelps was pulled over by an officer for the Maryland Transportation Authority at 1:40 am local time for going 84 miles per hour, 39 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. According to an MDTA statement, Phelps was driving south on I-95 when the officer detected him speeding via radar gun. Phelps was “unable to perform satisfactorily a series of standard field sobriety tests” and taken to a police station for booking. Phelps was later released, though the statement does not report the conditions of his release nor his alcohol level. He was officially charged with “DUI, excessive speed and crossing double lane lines within the Fort McHenry Tunnel.”

Phelps was arrested for DUI as a 19-year-old in 2004, and apologized then when he said, “Last week, I made a mistake. Getting in a car with anything to drink is wrong, dangerous and unacceptable. I’m 19 but was taught no matter how old you are, you should always take responsibility for your actions, which I will do. I’m extremely sorry for this.”

In addition, Phelps confirmed the authenticity of a photo in 2009 that showed him smoking from a marijuana pipe. Phelps received a three-month suspension from USA Swimming for the incident.

Swimming World has reached out to North Baltimore Aquatic Club Coach Bob Bowman for a statement, but did not receive an immediate reply.

Phelps won the 100 butterfly at last month’s Pan Pacific championships on the road to a comeback to the sport. He had qualified for next year’s world championships in the 100 fly and several other events.

Update (4 p.m. Eastern): Michael Phelps released the following statement via Twitter:

Earlier this morning, I was arrested and charged with DUI, excessive speeding and crossing double lane lines. I understand the severity of my actions and take full responsibility. I know these words may not mean much right now but I am deeply sorry to everyone I have let down.

USA Swimming also released the following statement:

“The news regarding Michael Phelps and his actions are disappointing and unquestionably serious. We expect our athletes to conduct themselves responsibly in and out of the pool.”


  1. avatar

    Well just cause he swims fast does not mean he is an intelligent person. Sheesh..

    • avatar

      He is inteligent person, if he would not be, he would not swim as fast and he would not achieve so many achievements….

  2. avatar
    Tom Acudamin

    Apparently there is no limit to Michael Phelp’s Speed!

    • avatar


  3. avatar

    Cut him some slack.

    He wuz late 4 practice is all!

  4. avatar

    A dumb-ass alcoholic who put people in danger. He needs to be punished, he needs to be helped.

  5. avatar
    David Weiss

    Something is wrong with the numbers in the original article. If he was clocked at 84 and was 39 mph over the speed limit then the limit was 45? Anybody know anyplace on I95 with a 45 mph speed limit?

    • avatar

      Doesn’t matter, he admitted to the potential of nearly killing himself and/or others:

      “… I was arrested and charged with DUI, excessive speeding and crossing double lane lines. I understand the severity of my actions and take full responsibility. …”

    • avatar
      Jeff Commings

      David, the statement from the Maryland Transportation Authority says he was going 84 in a 45 mph zone. Since he was caught in the Fort McHenry Tunnel, it is likely the speed limit is slower inside the tunnel.

  6. avatar

    So now the question goes to USA Swimming…What are the consequences MP will face from you? Don’t the Athletes on the National Team have to sign an Honor Code Contract? We all love him but the World is watching. Or are you going to give him a slap on the wrist like the NFL tried with some of their players, which back fired. You gave him a 3 month suspension the last time. Did it work?

    • avatar

      He needs rehab but does he want it?

      USA Swimming will just “Talk Story” as the Hawaiians say… All theater, all full of sound and fury, all of it signifying nothing. I would suspend him for a year and encourage him to do rehab. (Yes, no world champs) and if he screwed up again, I’d boot him of the team.

      But USA Swimming Exec Director Chuck Wielgus couldn’t even pick up the phone to call the police after getting an email from a swimmer who complained of being sexually abused. That’s how ineffectual they are in doing what they promise.


    • avatar

      Yea, very curious if USA swimming has the integrity to stand behind their “clean” image. This from the APA manual:Morality Clause Violation:
      The following shall be considered violations of the Athlete Partnership Agreement. If the athlete:
       fails to conduct himself with due regard to public conventions and morals;
       or engages in any situation or occurrence including, but not limited to, the use of illegal drugs
      or prohibited substances;
       or otherwise brings himself into public disrepute, contempt, scandal, or ridicule,
      Penalties may include withheld funding, loss of services, or removal from the program and shall be
      imposed by the National Team Managing Director.

      I would love his APA money shared by athletes committed to the sport.

  7. avatar
    Jason V

    Pro Athletes have been thrust into the limelight across several sports recently. How will it affect policy regarding moral code? Is the judgement out on what role media has in ‘steering’ or influencing repercussions?

  8. avatar

    This really is a good lesson. Law is applicable to all and even celebrities have no separate privileges. If Mr.Phelps is found guilty, he should be booked.I wish this be an eye opener for avoiding accidents related to DUI.Consult DUI lawyers Florida, for hiring proffesional DUI lawyers