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Monday, Oct 20, 2014
Sports

Indianapolis Colts owner Irsay faces DWI charge


Published:   |   Updated: March 17, 2014 at 11:15 AM

INDIANAPOLIS — Police said they found multiple prescription drugs in Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay’s vehicle after he was arrested on suspicion of intoxicated driving.

Police in the Indianapolis suburb of Carmel said Irsay was stopped late Sunday after he was spotted driving slowly, coming to a stop in the roadway and failing to use a turn signal.

Police said the 54-year-old Irsay failed several roadside field sobriety tests before he was arrested. Police didn’t release any information about a blood-alcohol test being given to Irsay.

Carmel police said the drugs found in Irsay’s vehicle weren’t associated with any prescription bottles found inside. Irsay was being held at the Hamilton County Jail under $22,500 bond.

A spokeswoman for Irsay declined immediate comment. An NFL spokesman said he is subject to discipline.

Irsay, who frequently interacts with fans of the NFL team on Twitter, wrote an October 2013 tweet saying “I don’t drink ... haven’t in over 15 years.”

Irsay acknowledged in 2002 that he had become dependent on painkillers after several years of orthopedic operations but said he had overcome the problem after undergoing treatment.

Marion County prosecutors said the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration investigated how Irsay obtained the painkillers. Federal authorities wouldn’t confirm any investigation was taking place. Prosecutors at the time said they saw no reason to charge Irsay.

A plastic surgeon who wrote painkiller prescriptions for Irsay later surrendered his federal permit to prescribe narcotic drugs.

Irsay, who lives in Carmel, became the Colts owner in 1997 after the death of his father, Robert Irsay and a lengthy legal battle with his father’s second wife. Along the way, Jim Irsay held virtually every job from ball boy to general manager. Forbes magazine estimated Irsay’s net worth at $1.6 billion.

Meg Irsay filed in November for divorce from her husband of 33 years, citing an “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage.

A joint statement issued by the couple said Jim Irsay would retain full ownership of the Colts and his other business interests. The couple, who married in 1980, have been separated for a decade and are the parents of three adult daughters.

Since taking ownership of the team, Jim Irsay has made a reputation for himself by buying the scroll manuscript of Jack Kerouac’s beat poem “On the Road” for $2.43 million and posting Twitter comments on topics ranging from the Colts’ inner workings to popular music.

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