Jim Irsay Pleads Guilty To OWI, Receives Probation

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Colts owner Jim Irsay, who was arrested in March after being pulled over with a duffel bag and briefcase full of pills and cash, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of driving while under the influence of prescription drugs. The deal will allow Irsay to avoid serving any jail time.


Irsay will serve one year of probation, according to the Indianapolis Star's Mark Alesia, during which time he will be drug tested. If Irsay racks up another OWI at any time over the next five years, it will be considered a felony.

Irsay had previously pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor OWI counts, stemming from his March 16 arrest. Irsay was pulled over by police in Carmel, Ind., after an officer spotted him driving erratically. (Irsay would tell police he was "trying to find his house".) The Star described the arrest report:

Police also found $29,029 in cash — most of it in a briefcase and laundry bag where police also found numerous bottles containing prescription drugs — in the silver Toyota Highlander that the billionaire was driving.


The officer noted that Irsay's speech "was very slow and slurred and Irsay appeared to be disoriented," the report said. "I also observed that his eyes were red and watery. He also displayed poor manual dexterity."

At that time, the officer called for another patrol officer and a sergeant to come to the scene to assist with the investigation.

Before asking Irsay to get out of his vehicle, the officer initiated several "pre-exit" field sobriety tests. First he asked Irsay to recite a portion of the alphabet, starting at "C" and ending at "N." Irsay completed that test successfully but then started again — this time continuing through the entire alphabet.

"After reciting the letter Z," the officer reported, "Irsay recited the lettering I, N and G."

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 today's court appearance, a toxicology report showed Irsay had tested positive for oxycodone and hydrocodone. Prosecutors said Irsay had shown prescriptions for the pills, so wasn't charged for them.

A DA spokesperson said the plea deal offered Irsay was "typical."

Next up: a likely punishment from Roger Goodell under the NFL's much-debated personal conduct policy.

Photo by Michelle Pemberton/Indy Star