Phelps to be cited for invalid driver's license

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps was driving with an invalid, out-of-state license and told police he had a beer before he was involved in an accident.

Updated: August 15, 2009 16:34 IST
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Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps was driving with an invalid, out-of-state license and told police he drank a beer about 75 minutes before he was involved in an accident, Baltimore police said on Friday.

The accident late on Thursday was not Phelps' fault and was caused by another driver who ran a red light, police said.

Officers did not administer field sobriety tests because Phelps showed no signs of being impaired by alcohol, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. Police were aware of Phelps' 2004 conviction for drunken driving and did not give him special treatment, Guglielmi said.

Phelps told police he drank a beer around 7:30 p.m. and left his house about an hour later, according to a police report. The accident occurred around 8:45 p.m., shortly after he had left Baltimore's train station with two passengers, the report said.

The swimming star will be cited for driving without a license and failure to establish residency in Maryland, Guglielmi said. The citation carries no fine, but Phelps will have to appear in court and explain why he did not have a valid license.

Phelps presented officers with a Michigan driver's license, according to a police report, and investigators determined that the license was invalid after consulting with Michigan authorities. Phelps lived in Michigan between the 2004 and 2008 Olympics and moved back to his native Baltimore last year.

The other driver, Amanda E. Virkus, ran a red light shortly before 9 p.m., and Phelps' SUV crashed into the driver's side of her car at the intersection of two one-way streets north of downtown, police said.

Virkus will be cited for failure to obey a red light and causing an accident. Those citations carry a maximum penalty of a $180 fine and three points on a driver's license, Guglielmi said.

Two parked cars also sustained minor damage, and one of them was occupied at the time, according to the report.

Phelps said in a statement to police that his right ankle hurt after the crash, but he did not seek treatment. His two passengers were uninjured. Virkus was treated at a local hospital for back pain and released. A woman sitting in the parked car was not hurt.

Phelps has won 14 gold medals, including eight at last year's Beijing Olympics. He recently returned to Baltimore from the world swimming championships in Rome, where he won five golds and a silver.

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