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Colts Owner Jim Irsay Arrested for Alleged DWI, Drug Possession

By Jenny Tsay, Esq. on March 17, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was arrested on suspicion of a DWI and possession of controlled substances Sunday night. He was released from jail about 1:30 p.m. Monday.

Police in Carmel, Indiana, pulled Irsay over for driving too slow, stopping in the road, and failing to signal a turn, according to The Indianapolis Star. After being pulled over, Irsay allegedly failed several sobriety tests and was taken into custody.

In addition, officers also found evidence in Irsay's car that led to his arrest on suspicion of possession of controlled substances.

Felony Possession of Controlled Substances

One of the reasons why Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was arrested was because officers allegedly found "multiple" prescription pills that weren't associated with any prescription bottles in his vehicle, the Star reports. He could face four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance.

Under Indiana law, a person is guilty of possession of controlled substances if he intentionally possesses a controlled substance without a valid prescription. Controlled substances that are covered by the statute are those listed as Schedule I, II, III, or IV by the FDA, except for marijuana or hashish.

Carmel police told the Star that Irsay, 54, had Schedule IV prescription drugs in his car -- a category that includes Xanax, Valium, Ambien, and other drugs. If Irsay is charged with, and convicted of, felony possession, he could be imprisoned for up to three years and fined up to $10,000 for each count.

Misdemeanor DWI

Although most people associate DWIs with driving under the influence of alcohol, police reports don't indicate if alcohol was involved in Irsay's arrest. In fact, Irsay told his Twitter followers last fall he hadn't had a drink of alcohol in 15 years, The Associated Press reports.

Drugged driving, however, can also result in a DWI. Even if the drugs are prescribed by a doctor, driving while impaired due to prescription meds is just as illegal as driving drunk.

In Indiana, a first-time DWI is charged as a Class C misdemeanor. So if Irsay has no prior DWIs and is charged with, and convicted of, a misdemeanor DWI, he could be sentenced to jail for no more than 60 days and fined up to $500; probation is also possible.

Prosecutors, however, told the AP they hadn't yet decided whether to file criminal charges against Jim Irsay after his arrest. Irsay's initial court appearance is set for March 26.

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