Jim Irsay Charged with 2 Misdemeanors for March Driving Arrest

R. Cory Smith@@RCorySmithSenior Writer IMay 23, 2014

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Following a late-night driving incident in March in which Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was arrested on suspicion of DUI, the 54-year-old will be formally charged with two misdemeanors.

Adam Schefter of ESPN originally reported the news on Twitter:

More details on the situation were provided by Fox 59 in Indianapolis:

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 were oxycodone and/or hydrocodone.

The misdemeanor charges carry 60-day jail sentences if Irsay is convicted.

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.

Mark Alesia and Tim Evans of The Indianapolis Star have additional info:

Formal charges were filed against Irsay in Hamilton Superior Court. Following his arrest, police had filed four preliminary charges of felony drug possession, but they were not included in the prosecutor's formal charges today.

Irsay is charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and operating a vehicle with a controlled substance in the body. Prosecutors allege he had "oxycodone and/or hydrocodone" in his system when a Carmel police officer pulled him over at 11:40 p.m. on March 16.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport has the NFL's thoughts on the matter:

The charges filed against the besmirched owner clearly carry a serious penalty. Despite the arrest in March, a punishment still hasn't been handed down by the NFL.

League commissioner Roger Goodell spoke about the decision not to penalize the owner to this point, per Mark Maske of The Washington Post.

“There have been no charges,” Goodell said. “So the answer to that is until we get more information, some more facts, we will let it play out a little longer.”

Ryan Clark, a current player for the Washington Redskins and ESPN analyst, provided his thoughts on the Irsay's predicament, per ESPN.com news services:

Right now, if Jim Irsay is going to represent this league, represent the Indianapolis Colts, going to be on TV at the owners meetings, trying to bring a Super Bowl to Indianapolis after what he's done? It shows the hypocrisy of the NFL and also Roger Goodell in the way that he deals with players and the way he deals for the people he works for.

He's always said, 'Well, I don't work for the owners.' That's not true. Because in the CBA negotiations, you were sitting with the owners.

With more allegations potentially on the horizon for the Colts owner, a league-imposed penalty is likely forthcoming. Though Goodell has been slow to take action to this point, it's becoming increasingly more difficult to ignore the gravity of the situation.

As for Irsay, if he is found guilty of the reported charges and serves the ultimate penalty of 60 days in jail, his ownership might once again come into question. Should an owner with these types of transgressions on his criminal record be allowed to keep his team?

While Irsay has attended a rehabilitation center, the new findings might mean this joyride goes slightly farther than initially reported.