Latest Details on Colts Owner Jim Irsay's March Driving Arrest

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIMarch 17, 2014

AP Images

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was arrested on March 16th and faces preliminary charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance.

Updates from Wednesday, June 18

The Associated Press has the latest on Jim Irsay's court appearance scheduled for Thursday: 

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay won't have to appear in court Thursday for an initial hearing on drug-related charges he faces.

Irsay's attorneys filed a motion Wednesday waiving his appearance on misdemeanor charges of driving while intoxicated and driving with a Schedule I or II controlled substance in his body. Myra Borshoff Cook, a spokeswoman for Irsay, had no immediate comment.

Updates from Thursday, June 5

Mark Alesia and Tim Evans of the Indianapolis Star report Irsay's license has been suspended following his March arrest:

A Hamilton County court suspended Colts owner Jim Irsay's driver's license for one year starting May 27 in the wake of his arrest.

Police and prosecutors have declined to talk about the case, but recently released documents confirmed the license suspension.

Updates from Friday, May 23

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Irsay has been charged:

According to Fox 59 News in Indianapolis, the misdemeanors are once count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and one count of operating a vehicle while using a controlled substance. 

Updates from Wednesday, March 27

Tim Evans of the Indianapolis Star provides insight surrounding the scene of Irsay's arrest:

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay had trouble standing, his speech was slurred and he admitted taking several medications but refused to voluntarily submit to a blood test after he was stopped by a Carmel police officer on March 16.

Evans also obtained a statement from an officer at the scene:

"I observed a vehicle traveling east bound that appeared to be traveling at approximately 10 mph in a 35 mph zone," the officer wrote in his report.

"As I passed the vehicle I continued to observe it in my side view mirror. I observed the vehicle come to a complete stop on W. Main Street for no apparent reason. I turned my squad car around and began to drive to the vehicle's location. As I was approaching the vehicle it began to slowly move east bound and came to another complete stop in the lane of travel for no apparent reason."


"As Irsay searched through the brief case for his driver's license," the officer reported, "I observed prescription bottles in the brief case next to his wallet."

Evans continued with additional details:

A few minutes later, Irsay was asked to get out of his vehicle. The report said Irsay was unsteady and had trouble standing, prompting officers to cut short some dexterity testing. Irsay was unable to stand heel to toe and two officers "continuously had to support Irsay in order to prevent him from falling over," the report said.

At one point, the officers had Irsay sit on the hood of a squad car because they were concerned he might fall.


rsay agreed to a field breath test and the sergeant at the scene also called in a "certified drug recognition expert." He was then handcuffed and transported to the Hamilton County Jail.

The investigation continued at the jail, where Irsay was taken into a private interview room and the drug evaluation was conducted.

ESPN's Darren Rovell previously reported on Wednesday how much money Irsay was carrying with him at the time of the arrest:

Updates from Monday, March 24

Roger Goodell spoke on Jim Irsay's arrest (via Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post:

Carlie Irsay-Gordon reached out to Colts season ticket holders about her father (via Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star):

Updates from Wednesday, March 19

TMZ talked to Giants co-owner Steve Tisch about Irsay:

Tisch was out in L.A. Tuesday when he told us Jim's a "great guy" ... and he thinks his decision to enter a treatment center will make his life "a lot better."

But when it came to punishment from the NFL, Tisch explained ... "I can't speak on the commissioner's behalf ... I don't know what he's going to do ... but I feel he's going to do something."

"I think he's gonna make a statement."

Stephen Holder of The Indianapolis Star reports that Carlie Irsay-Gordon, Jim Irsay's daughter, will run the team in his absence. 

Original Text

According to a report by TheIndyChannel.com, police booked Irsay into Hamilton County Jail in Carmel, Ind., at 3 a.m. Monday.

The Indianapolis Colts have released a statement on Jim Irsay entering a treatment facility:

Yesterday, Jim Irsay took the first step toward regaining good health. He voluntarily checked into a highly-respected health care facility and is committed to undergoing the treatment and care necessary to help him meet his challenges head-on. Jim, the Irsay family, and the Colts organization are all deeply appreciative of the incredible outpouring of support and compassion from our fans and the Indiana community.

RTV6 Indianapolis provided his mugshot:

Carmel Police Department revealed details surrounding the arrest:

On Sunday, March 16th, 2014 at 11:41pm, James S. Irsay (54 years old) was stopped in the 13000 block of Horseferry Road in Carmel for driving at a slow rate of speed, stopping in the roadway and failure to signal turn. During the course of the investigation, Irsay subsequently failed several roadside field sobriety tests and was arrested for Operating While Intoxicated (I.C. 9-30-5-2(A) /A-Misdemeanor). 

During the inventory of Irsay’s vehicle, multiple prescription drugs were discovered in pill bottles. These Schedule IV prescription drugs were not associated with any prescription bottles found in the vehicle. He was also charged with Possession of Controlled Substance (I.C. 35-48-4-7 (A) /D-Felony, 4-counts). Irsay is currently being held in the Hamilton County Jail on a $22,500 bond.

Justin Mack of The Indianapolis Star passed along a photo of Irsay leaving jail:

Irsay later commented on the incident via his Twitter account:

Kristine Guerra of The Indianapolis Star had the date for Irsay's court appearance:

The Colts later released a statement on Irsay's arrest, courtesy of NBC Sports' Mike Florio:

We are gathering information at this time regarding last night’s incident involving Jim Irsay. The team will issue additional statements when the facts are sorted and we are aware of the next steps to this process. Many fans have reached out to express their concern and we appreciate their support.

The Colts later updated their statement (via Tom Pelissero of USA Today)

Bob Kravitz of The Indianapolis Star commented on the arrest and provided background on Irsay's recent status:

In 2002, Irsay admitted he was dependent on prescription painkillers, The Associated Press reported (via Sports Illustrated):

After several years of orthopedic operations and procedures, accompanied by long bouts of chronic pain, I became dependent on prescription pain medications. ...

... I have successfully dealt with my dependence and my chronic pain issues. This has been a personal journey, and I ask that my privacy, as well as that of my family, be respected on this health issue.

In October and December 2013, Irsay released statements on Twitter regarding his alcohol use:

Irsay took ownership of the team in 1997 and also serves as the chief executive officer. His father, Robert, passed away that year, and the then-37-year-old became the youngest owner in NFL history.

Having overseen an era of excellence during Peyton Manning's tenure as starting quarterback, Indianapolis was fortunate enough to draft Andrew Luck No. 1 overall in 2012 as the successor under center. That's resulted in playoff trips in each of the past two seasons.

ESPN's Mike Wells was quick to comment on how this would affect the Colts from a media perspective:

Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman noted that owners are not immune to potential ramifications from the NFL:

In a March 14 report by The Indianapolis Star's Mike Chappell, the indication from Irsay last year was that the front office would spend more on defense after the team ranked 26th versus the run in 2013:

You look in the past (and) we've spent as much as 70 percent on the offensive side of the ball, 70 percent of the cap. We're 70 percent in '03 and '04 and we couldn't get past the Patriots.

It's more talking about how you build a championship team to win multiple championships. I was very certain about how I wanted to go into the future, into a new era in terms of our balance.

Irsay is one of the most outspoken owners in professional sports and has a big presence on Twitter. He has been a hands-on leader and great personality in Indianapolis.

He isn't afraid of making big moves, like moving on from franchise cornerstone Peyton Manning. Hopefully he's able to put this arrest behind him.


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