Barbara A. Bowden

Tacoma, WA DUI Attorney

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Michael Phelps Entered Recovery Program After DUI Arrest– Should You?

michael phelps duiIn early October, Michael Phelps splashed into the headlines, and not for adding another Olympic gold to his record-setting medal count. The serial Olympian was arrested for his second DUI. According to a report in Fox News, the 29-year-old was charged with drunk driving when he failed the field sobriety tests. His blood alcohol level registered at .14.

Driving with a BAC .06 over the legal limit is not a new practice for Phelps, this being his second DUI arrest. His first offense happened ten years ago after his second Olympic games. Phelps pled guilty to the charge and was given probation and a fine.

This dose of deja vu was something the swimming world, not to mention the law, took quite seriously. He was suspended from USA Swimming for six months, making him unable to compete in any USA Swimming sanctioned meets until April 2015. Unable to swim and with a pending lawsuit on the way, Phelps entered a six-week in-patient alcohol rehabilitation program after this second arrest.

Not all of us have the opportunity or the talent to win 18 Olympic gold medals, but when we mix alcohol and driving, we are all at risk for a DUI. And when we hear of celebrities like Phelps entering these rehabilitation programs, we may ask ourselves– if I am charged with a DUI, do I need to enter a drinking rehab program?

In Washington, these are sometimes referred to as “deferred prosecution programs.” When you have been charged with a DUI, this route is likely an option for you; for some, it is the only option. When you enter a deferred prosecution program, you are admitting that you have a drug or alcohol problem.

In Washington, deferred prosecution is a one-time option. Therefore, if you go the deferred prosecution route for your first offense, it will not be an option if you get a second DUI offense. This is one reason why at the Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden, we don’t necessarily recommend deferred prosecution as the first option, especially after a first offense.

Just like Michael Phelps sought help after his second DUI offense, it might be an option for you as well. If you have questions like these about your DUI offense in Washington or are considering deferred prosecution, be sure to contact a DUI defense attorney who can thoroughly explain your options.


Photo Credit: marcopako  via Compfight cc