Champion Olympic swimmer, Michael Phelps, with 18 gold medals to his credit,
has fared well over the last decade by amassing millions of dollars in
sponsorships from well wishers who had great faith in his ability to successfully
represent America. This might be about to change, following his arrest
for DUI recently. The 29-year-old was allegedly caught driving at more
than 80 mph in a 45-mph area. It was reported by police that he crossed
over double yellow lines after entering the Fort McHenry Tunnel on Northbound
Interstate 95 in Maryland.
There are many things that the American public will tolerate when it comes
to the behavior of their celebrities, but in recent years it's not
been considered cool to be caught driving while intoxicated. If this leads
to reckless behavior, then even less respect is given to the person if
they are convicted. Such incidents are often food for thought for sponsors
such as Kellogg's and Subway, the former withdrawing sponsorship after
Phelps was showed publicly smoking marijuana way back in 2009. Sponsors
are concerned as much about their image as the celebs they sponsor. There
is gossip in the air suggesting that Phelps will have to do more than
beg to get sponsors to renew their cash alms.
In 2004, Phelps was placed on probation for 18 months after a plea agreement
in relation to a DUI arrest.
Typically, in serious incidences of DUI – as in this case –
there is often no way out for the defendant. Once charged and convicted,
a criminal record is the order of the day and no one likes employing people
who have been labeled in this way. Even a celebrity has difficulties talking
his or herself out of the predicament.
When a driver is stopped on suspicion of DUI, the events that proceed are
often confused. The police want to conduct breath tests or sobriety tests
at the scene, which is often a busy highway, and they sometimes confront
the assailant in an aggressive and disturbed way. In the confusion, the
evidence they often put forward has been received from poorly conducted
sobriety tests which the driver has not agreed to do, sometimes in poor
light and often in places that are noisy and lack sufficient space.
In most states in the U.S., the driver has to agree to conduct sobriety
tests before any observations made by the police are recorded. If this
permission is not granted, or the police fail to respect the person's
rights, any observations cannot be used in court to get a prosecution.
Many drivers don't know their rights and some even make admissions
of guilt when the amount of alcohol they have consumed is less than the
legal limit. If the defendant fails to stand up for his or her rights,
wrongful convictions may take place.
There are serious consequences once a conviction has been recorded against
you. Employers don't want to hire you and you will find it difficult
to get auto insurance. In the case of Phelps sponsors, they do not wish
to sponsor him even though the DUI offence is unlikely to affect his performance.
It is important when you are arrested for DUI that you hire an
experienced DUI attorney who will ensure the facts surrounding your case are correct. The court
will be supplied with the information and any extenuating circumstances
may be considered, too.