SALISBURY, Md. – Six-time Olympic swimming gold medalist Michael Phelps (search) was charged with drunken driving in southeastern Maryland after running a stop sign in his sport utility vehicle, state police said Monday.
After the 19-year-old was stopped Thursday night, a trooper said he saw signs of intoxication and arrested Phelps for driving under the influence.
Reached Monday by The Associated Press, Phelps read a statement of apology.
"I want to say that last week I made a mistake. I wanted to share my feelings and I know that getting in a car with anything to drink is wrong, dangerous and is unacceptable," he said.
"I'm 19, but I was taught that no matter how old you are you should always take responsibility for your action, which I will do. I'm very sorry this happened and it was mistake."
The legal drinking age (search) in Maryland is 21.
Police said two friends were in the vehicle with Phelps, who also was charged with driving while impaired, violation of a license restriction and failure to obey a stop sign.
If convicted of driving under the influence, Phelps could receive up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine for a first offense, The (Baltimore) Sun reported. A judge could also impose a lesser penalty or probation.
Police said Phelps was "fully cooperative" and was released at 1 a.m. Friday. His vehicle was released to a friend who had not been drinking.
Phelps, from suburban Baltimore, won eight medals at the Summer Olympics (search), including the six golds.