Colts owner faces 4 felony counts after DUI arrest

Colts owner faces 4 felony counts after DUI arrest

Colts owner faces 4 felony counts after DUI arrest

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by Bill McCleery / USA TODAY Sports

khou.com

Posted on March 17, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Colts owner James Irsay faces four felony counts after being arrested Sunday night by Carmel police on preliminary charges of driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance, police said.

Irsay drove at a slow rate of speed, stopped in the roadway and failed to signal a turn before police stopped him, Lt. Joe Bickel of the Carmel Police Department said in a release.

“During the course of the investigation, Irsay subsequently failed several roadside field sobriety tests,” Bickel said.

In an inventory of Irsay’s vehicle, “multiple prescription drugs were discovered in pill bottles,” police said. “These Schedule IV prescription drugs were not associated with any prescription bottles found in the vehicle.”

Irsay faces four counts of felony possession of controlled substances

In a tweet on Oct. 21, 2013, Irsay said he has not had a drink in 15 years.

The bond for Irsay was set at $22,500, said Deputy Bryant Orem of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department. Irsay should be able to post bond and be released this afternoon, Orem said.

Irsay, 54, was booked into the Hamilton County Jail at Noblesville at 3:07 a.m. He was stopped at 11:41 p.m. in the 13000 block of Horseferry Road, said Lt. Joe Bickel of the Carmel Police Department.

Colts officials were gathering facts before making public statements, a team representative said shortly before 8:30 a.m. In a tweet on Oct. 21, 2013, Irsay said he has not had a drink in more than 15 years.

In 2002, Irsay admitted he had an addiction to pain killers.

“After several years of orthopedic operations and procedures, accompanied by long bouts of chronic pain, I became dependent on prescription pain medications,” Irsay said in a 2002 statement. “This summer I sought professional help at a nationally recognized facility located outside Indiana. I have successfully dealt with my dependence and my chronic pain issues.”

League spokesman Greg Aiello said in an e-mail to USA TODAY Sports that Irsay, if found guilty, would be subject to league discipline: “The league’s Personal Conduct Policy applies to all NFL personnel,” Aiello said via e-mail Monday.

According to the league’s policies, “(a)ll persons associated with the NFL are required to avoid ‘conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football League.’ This requirement applies to players, coaches, other team employees, owners, game officials, and all others privileged to work in the National Football League.”

The league’s policies further state:

“Apart from any disciplinary action, persons arrested, charged, or otherwise appearing to have engaged in conduct prohibited under this policy generally will be required to undergo a formal clinical evaluation. Based on the results of that evaluation, the person may be encouraged or required to participate in an education program, counseling, or other treatment deemed appropriate by health professionals.”

The NFL commissioner decides specific disciplinary actions, according to leaugue rules.

Policies state:

“Discipline may take the form of fines, suspension, or banishment from the League and may include a probationary period and conditions that must be satisfied prior to or following reinstatement. The specifics of the disciplinary response will be based on the nature of the incident, the actual or threatened risk to the participant and others, any prior or additional misconduct (whether or not criminal charges were filed), and other relevant factors.”

Further, policies state:

“Unless the available facts clearly indicate egregious circumstances, significant bodily harm or risk to third parties, or an immediate and substantial risk to the integrity and reputation of the NFL, a first offense generally will not result in discipline until there has been a disposition of the proceeding.”

In 2010, Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand was suspended for 30 days and fined $100,000 after pleading guilty to driving while impaired, which league officials called a violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy. Lewand also performed community service. Meg Irsay filed to divorce Jim Irsay last November. They had been married 33 years.

The Star obtained a copy of the three-page petition at the Hamilton County courthouse and it said, in part: “There has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage of the parties, and the Petitioner requests that the parties’ marriage be dissolved.”

The Colts were valued at $1.6 billion by Forbes magazine, 11th in the NFL.

The Colts said the divorce would not affect Jim Irsay’s 100 percent ownership of the team.

Contributing: Jim Corbett

Bill McLeery also writes for the Indianapolis Star

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