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Program would clear Olympic skater of DUI

3/15/2004

ENFIELD, Conn. -- Olympic champion figure skater Victor
Petrenko on Monday applied for an alcohol education program that
would clear his record of a drunken driving charge.

Petrenko was charged with driving under the influence after he
crashed his sports utility vehicle into a pole on Jan. 28. The
34-year-old Ukrainian skater told police that he had had a glass of
wine. He failed several field sobriety tests.

Petrenko refused to take a breath test. Under Connecticut law,
the skater has the right to refuse the breath test, but his license
was automatically suspended for six months.

Judge Howard Scheinblum ordered Petrenko to pay the $150
application fee and said the program would consist of at least 10
hours of alcohol education classes. Petrenko is due back in court
on March 15 for a hearing on the application.

Petrenko won the 1992 Olympic gold medal. His arrest comes two
months after Alexei Yagudin, the 2002 Olympic champ, was placed in
an alcohol education program for an August drunken driving arrest
in nearby Avon.

In 1997, Oksana Baiul, the 1994 Olympic skating champion, was
charged with drunken driving and reckless driving after a 100 mph
crash in another Hartford suburb. She escaped serious injury, and
the charges were dismissed after she completed an alcohol education
program.