Famed Olympic swimmer caught engaging in two risky behaviors while behind the wheel.

DUICelebrity bad behavior is somewhat of an obsession for the American media. In some cases it is hard to say whether seeing their role models acting up is good or bad for kids. On the one hand, seeing a beloved figure engaging in bad behavior can almost condone that behavior in a young person’s eyes. On the other hand, when the celebrity is punished it can help young people understand that no one is immune to the consequences of their actions. Both factors may be at play following the recent DUI arrest of famed Olympian Michael Phelps.

Phelps was caught on radar going 84 mph in a 45 mph zone in the early morning hours in Baltimore, Maryland. When policed stopped him, he appeared to be under the influence and failed to complete several field sobriety tests. He was then arrested and charged with DUI, excessive speed, and crossing double lane lines.

All of these driving behaviors are dangerous and have the potential to cause a serious accident. If Phelps had also been texting at the time, he would have been guilty of an unholy trifecta of bad driving behaviors. When texting, speeding, or drinking are involved in an accident, it typically becomes much easier to assign liability for the accident. After all, engaging in any of these behaviors is considered inherently reckless and therefore any driver who causes a car accident through these behaviors could certainly be held financially liable for any injuries that may result.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the legendary 18-time gold medal winner has made headlines for his poor decisions. Phelps was also arrested for DUI in 2004 at the tender age of 19. Following that incident he was sentenced to 18 months of probation.

This second lapse in judgment is disappointing to Phelps’ fans and to himself, as it shows he has not lived up to his own promise to learn from his mistakes so as to never make the same mistake twice, as he mentioned following the release of photos of him using a bong at a party in 2009.

The silver lining of this new story is that Phelps has voluntarily enrolled in a six-week program so that he can get help with the underlying issues he feels caused the DUI incident. This at least shows young people a positive example of a role model recognizing his failures and taking steps to correct them.

As Phelps put it, “right now I need to focus my attention on me as an individual, and do the necessary work to learn from this experience and make better decisions in the future.”