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Olympic Sprinter Carl Lewis Arrested for Drunken Driving

January 11, 1991

HOUSTON (AP) _ Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis was charged with drunken driving Friday after police said they saw his car strike a curb while making a turn, blowing out two tires on the black Audi.

Lewis, winner of six Olympic gold medals, sprinted from a police station to a waiting car hours after his arrest and was driven away hiding his face.

Authorities said Lewis was taken into custody after failing a field sobriety test. A test administered at the police station put Lewis’ blood- alcohol level at 0.12. In Texas, the legal limit is 0.10.

Lewis was whisked away by his lawyer after his release.

″The attorney doesn’t want to talk to the media and neither does Mr. Lewis,″ said Sgt. Ralph Gonzales, a police spokesman.

Lewis was charged with driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail. Lewis posted a $500 bond for his release.

″As far as I know, there were no problems with Mr. Lewis,″ Gonzales said. ″He is very distraught about the whole thing.″

Officers said two men and a woman were in the car with Lewis. One of the men was arrested for resisting arrest after he allegedly became belligerent while officers tried to give a sobriety test to Lewis, police spokesman Kevin Robertson said.

Lewis’ arrest comes the same day his chief racing rival, Ben Johnson, was to return to competition after a two-year suspension for using steroids. Johnson lost his 1988 Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter dash to Lewis after he tested positive for the illegal substance.

Johnson, a Canadian, was to race Friday night in the 50-meter dash at the Spectator Indoor Games in Ontario.

Update hourly