HAMILTON COUNTY (May 23, 2014) – FOX59 News has learned Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has been charged with two misdemeanors after a late night driving arrest in Carmel on March 16.
Irsay has been charged with one count of operating while intoxicated, a C misdemeanor and one count of operating a vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substances or its metabolite in the body, also a C misdemeanor. The substances, according to charging documents, were oxycodone and/or hydrocodone.
The misdemeanor charges carry 60-day jail sentences if Irsay is convicted. Legal experts doubt Irsay will serve any jail time. Criminal defense attorney Jeff Mendes has represented clients in similar matters but he was surprised by the charges.
“From what I know of Mr. Irsay’s background he’s probably going to get, if he takes a plea to one of these charges, he’ll just get probation,” said Mendes.
A source told FOX59 News that the OWI count is a result of Irsay “mixing medications” and then driving along Horseferry Road when he was stopped shortly before midnight by a Carmel police officer who reported that he witnessed erratic driving.
Irsay allegedly told the officer he had recently purchased a home in a nearby subdivision and was unfamiliar with its location.
A search of Irsay’s vehicle revealed as many as five medications in a briefcase, a duffle bag and in the personal possession of the NFL owner. There was no indication of alcohol or street drugs in Irsay’s possession.
Irsay has remained free since his arrest to attend substance abuse treatment, participate in the Colts Draft Day activities and traveled to Atlanta to help present the city’s bid for Super Bowl LII in 2018. He spent an undetermined amount of time in a treatment facility following his arrest.
A source indicates that investigators have spent the last two months analyzing the pills found in Irsay’s possession to determine their identity, quantity and origin. Some of the dosages are inconsistent with a typical patient’s therapeutic need or Irsay’s prescriptions, according to the source. The seized medications were in quantities that, while perhaps excessive for personal use, did not rise to the level of dealing status.
The filing of charges was delayed as Irsay’s blood samples were sent to a private laboratory for analysis as the Indiana Department of Toxicology does not test for all prescription substances.
Irsay’s initial hearing is scheduled for June 19.
Irsay’s attorney released the following statement:
“We want to thank the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office for its professionalism in its investigation regarding Mr. Irsay and for devoting the necessary care and attention to determine the facts in this matter did not warrant the filing of felony charges relative to Mr. Irsay’s prescription medications. Mr. Irsay will deal with the remaining misdemeanor charges through the judicial process.”
The NFL said they are also reviewing the case, telling FOX59 “The NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy applies to all league personnel and holds all of us accountable. We are reviewing the matter and will take appropriate action in accordance with the policy.”