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Colts Owner Jim Irsay Pleads Guilty to Drug-Related OWI

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on September 04, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

The OWI charge stems from an arrest earlier this year after Irsay was pulled over and found to have oxycodone and hydrocodone -- both powerful painkillers -- in his system as well as the anti-anxiety drug alprazolam, reports ESPN.

What criminal penalties is Irsay now facing?

Operating While Intoxicated

In Indiana, DUI is known as OWI or operating while intoxicated, though the laws governing OWI operate in much the same way as DUI laws in other states.

Irsay was arrested on suspicion of OWI and drug possession in March after being pulled over and failing sobriety tests. Officers also found prescription drugs in Irsay's car that weren't associated with a valid prescription. Subsequent toxicology tests revealed that he had several of those drugs in his system.

Under the Indiana criminal code, operating a motor vehicle with a controlled substance in your body is a Class C misdemeanor. According to ESPN, Irsay's plea deal with prosecutors includes a 60-day suspended jail sentence (minus the two days he already served following his arrest), 90 additional days on top of his already year-long driver's license suspension, court costs, and one year of probation. The court agreed to drop the additional charge against Irsay as part of his plea agreement.

Terms of Probation

A person convicted of a crime is typically sentenced to probation as an alternative to serving time in jail or prison. Probation allows the defendant to enjoy a certain amount of freedom in the community but with conditions that must be met to avoid having probation revoked and potentially being incarcerated.

In Irsay's case, his probation includes random drug testing, a prohibition on drinking or possessing alcohol, completion of a rehabilitation program, and attendance at a victim impact panel, which educates DUI offenders on the potential consequences of DUI.

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