Phelps gets probation term

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Six-time Olympic gold medallist swimmer Michael Phelps was sentenced to 18 months probation on Wednesday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:04 IST
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It was far from a golden moment for Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps on Wednesday. He appeared in a Wicomico County courthouse after pleading guilty to drunken driving. District Court Judge Lloyd Whitehead accepted an agreement between Phelps' attorneys and prosecutors and granted Phelps probation before judgment. The sentence means Phelps' record will be expunged if he complies with the terms of probation. Terms and conditions Under the terms of his probation, the 19-year-old must give speeches to students at three Wicomico county schools by June 1st, advising youngsters about making choices and warning them about the dangers of alcohol. Whitehead also ordered Phelps to abstain from alcohol and the abusive use of any drug during his probation, and to attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving victims impact panel. He was fined $250 and ordered to pay $55 in court costs. In return for Phelps' guilty plea to driving while impaired, prosecutors agreed to drop other charges, including driving under the influence and failure to stop at a stop sign. Prosecutors said Phelps had a point-08 blood alcohol content, which is the legal limit in Maryland. "I am going to take this experience, I have already learned from this experience, I will pass this along to others who even think about making the same mistake that I made. I want to thank everybody for their continued support through all of this," said the swimmer. "One of the biggest things I am looking forward to right now, is I am moving to the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor (Michigan) to start my college career up there, and I look forward to getting back in the water, and getting back to a normal routine. Thank you," he added. Drunken escapade Phelps was stopped by a state trooper on November 4th for running a stop sign near Salisbury University, about 85 miles (140 kilometres) southeast of Baltimore. Phelps, who won eight medals at the Athens Olympics, was charged with driving under the influence, driving while impaired, violation of a license restriction and failure to obey a stop sign. Maryland's drinking age is 21. As he left the courthouse, Phelps was besieged by young children seeking his autograph. He signed everything from T-shirts and jackets to magazines and business cards. (AP)

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