Former US women’s national team goalkeeper Hope Solo pleaded guilty Monday to driving while injured, nearly four months after she was found passed out behind the wheel of a car in North Carolina with her two-year-old twins inside.
Solo was also charged with a misdemeanor of child abuse and resisting a public officer in connection with the March 31 incident. The Winston Salem Journal reported that her attorney, Chris Clifton, said those charges were dropped voluntarily.
A news release from the Forsyth County District Attorney’s Office said the judge gave Solo, 40, of Roaring Gap in Ghanaian County, a 24-month suspended sentence and a 30-day sentence. She was given a 30-day credit for the time she spent at the inpatient rehabilitation facility. The judge also ordered Solo to pay $2,500 in fines and $600 in fees for lab tests. She must also obtain a substance abuse assessment and complete all recommended treatments.
The thundering gap is located about 60 miles northwest of Winston-Salem.
In a statement issued after her guilt pleaded guilty, Solo said that despite her pride in motherhood and how she and her husband had dealt with their children during the pandemic, “it was very difficult and I made a huge mistake.”
“Easily the worst mistake of my life,” she said. “I have underestimated the destructive part of my life for alcohol. The upside to making a mistake of this magnitude is that the hard lessons are learned quickly. Learning those lessons has been difficult and, at times, very painful.”
A police report said Solo was arrested in the parking lot of a shopping center in Winston-Salem. According to an arrest warrant, a passerby observed Solo dying behind the wheel for more than an hour with the car’s engine running and the two children in the back seat.
An officer could respond to smell alcohol, and the memo said Solo refused a field sobriety test.
Solo was taken to the judge’s office, where she refused to take a Breathalyzer test, so the police obtained a search warrant for a blood sample. Solo had a blood alcohol concentration 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 expelled from the national team following the 2016 Olympics in Brazil after calling Sweden a “coward” for taking a defensive stance against gold-medal defenders, ending a laudable playing career that was also marred by controversy.
She was suspended for 30 days in early 2015 after she and her husband, Jeramy Stevens, were stopped in an NFL-owned truck, and Stevens was charged with a DUI charge. She was also lifted to the bench after being publicly questioned about coach Greg Ryan’s decision to start Briana Scurry against Brazil during the 2007 World Cup, comments many viewed as an insult against Scurry.
Solo was also involved in an altercation with family members in 2014 that resulted in Solo’s arrest, though the charges in that case were eventually dropped.
Solo made 202 appearances for the national team, with 153 wins and an international record in 102 closings. She won the World Cup title and two Olympic gold medals with the team.
During the 2015 World Cup, she allowed only three goals in seven matches with five shots.
She was elected to the American Football Hall of Fame in January. The induction ceremony has been set for May 21, but the newspaper reported that Solo has asked to postpone the ceremony until next year.
Solo married Stevens, a former tight end of the Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in 2012. The couple’s twins were born on March 4, 2020.