Swimmer Michael Phelps pleads guilty to drunken driving

By Juliet Linderman, AP

BALTIMORE, Maryland — Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps pleaded guilty to drunken driving on Friday, almost three months after he was arrested after leaving a Baltimore casino.

Phelps, 29, was arrested Sept. 30. Documents show he was stopped for speeding and crossing the double yellow line while driving a tunnel. Police say Phelps registered a .14 percent on a blood-alcohol test. The legal limit is .08 percent in Maryland.

He was sentenced to a year in prison, but the prison sentence is suspended. He must be on probation for a year and a half.

Phelps arrived at the courthouse in a green Mercedes with his attorney and sat with his mother and sisters in the courtroom, wearing a suit and tie. His attorney said Phelps began a treatment program immediately after his arrest, including 45 days of inpatient treatment. A letter from his doctor there was glowing, saying he was forthright and cooperative.

Phelps also is attending Alcoholics Anonymous and is continuing with therapy in Maryland.

��I now have the tools to move past this. What I did was wrong, and I made a bad mistake. I’m looking forward to having a much brighter future than I had in the past,�� Phelps told the judge.

Judge Nathan Braverman told Phelps that success overcoming alcohol would not come overnight, and warned him of the consequences of another slip-up.

��You don’t need a lecture from the court,�� Braverman said. ��If you haven’t gotten the message by now, or forget the message, the only option is jail.��