WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Former U.S. women’s national team star goalkeeper Hope Solo pleaded guilty Monday to driving while impaired, almost four months after she was found passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle in North Carolina with her 2-year-old twins inside.
Solo also was charged with misdemeanor child abuse and resisting a public officer in connection with the March 31 incident. Her attorney, Chris Clifton, said those two charges were voluntarily dismissed, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.
A news release from the Forsyth County District Attorney's Office said a judge gave Solo, 40, of Roaring Gap in Alleghany County, a suspended sentence of 24 months and an active sentence of 30 days. She was given 30 days' credit for time she spent at an in-patient rehabilitation facility. The judge also ordered Solo to pay $2,500 in fines and a $600 fee for the cost of the lab tests. She also has to get a substance abuse assessment and complete all recommended treatment.
Roaring Gap is approximately 60 miles (96 kilometers) northwest of Winston-Salem.
In a statement released after her guilty plea, Solo said that although she took pride in motherhood and how she and her husband handled her children during the pandemic, “it was incredibly hard and I made a huge mistake.”
“Easily the worst mistake of my life. I underestimated what a destructive part of my life alcohol had become,” she said. “The upside of making a mistake this big is that hard lessons are learned quickly. Learning these lessons has been difficult, and at times, very painful.”
A police report said Solo was arrested in a shopping center parking lot in Winston-Salem. According to an arrest warrant, a passerby noticed Solo passed out behind the steering wheel for more than an hour with the vehicle’s engine running and the two children in the backseat.
A responding officer could smell alcohol, and the warrant said Solo refused a field sobriety test.
Solo was taken to the magistrate’s office, where she refused to take an alcohol breath test, so police got a search warrant for a blood sample. Solo had a blood alcohol content of 0.24%, three times the legal limit. Tests also showed that Solo had THC in her system, according to a police report.
Solo was dismissed from the national team following the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics after calling the Swedish team “cowards” for taking a defensive stance against the defending gold medalists, ending a laudable playing career that was also marred by controversy.
She was suspended for 30 days in early 2015 after she and husband Jerramy Stevens were pulled over in a U.S. Soccer-owned van and Stevens was charged with DUI. She was also benched after publicly questioning coach Greg Ryan’s decision to start Briana Scurry against Brazil during the 2007 World Cup, comments many saw as a slight against Scurry.
Solo also was involved in an altercation with family members in 2014 that resulted in Solo’s arrest, although charges in that case were eventually dropped.
Solo made 202 appearances with the national team, with 153 wins and an international-record 102 shutouts. She won a World Cup title and two Olympic gold medals with the team.
During the 2015 World Cup championship run, she allowed just three goals in seven games with five shutouts.
She was elected to the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame in January. The induction ceremony was set for May 21, but the newspaper reported that Solo requested that the ceremony be delayed until next year.
Solo married Stevens, a former tight end for the Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in 2012. The couple's twins, Vittorio Genghis and Lozen Orianna Judith Stevens, were born on March 4, 2020.
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The Associated Press