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Billionaire Colts Owner Arrested for DWI, Possession

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Jim Irsay, Hamilton County, Indiana mug shot

Jim Irsay, Hamilton County, Indiana mug shot

According to an NFL spokesman, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay will be subject to discipline once more is known about the facts surrounding his recent DWI arrest, reports the Associated Press in an article appearing in The Detroit News. Authorities arrested Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay on Sunday night on four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated, Dan Alexander writes for Forbes.

A news release from the Carmel Police Department says Irsay, 54, was pulled over for driving slowly, stopping in a roadway, and failing to use his turn signal, Sho Wills writes for CNN. Irsay failed several roadside field sobriety tests and police found prescription drugs in his car, Alexander writes. He adds that Irsay, who is worth $1.6 billion, was held in the Hamilton County Jail on a $22,500 bond. Irsay was released from jail Monday afternoon and picked up by someone driving a BMW, reports Bill McCleery for USA Today.

McCleery writes that the Colts issued the following statement:

‘The Club continues to fully support Mr. Irsay but must refrain from commenting further at least until formal charges have been filed. A hearing is tentatively scheduled for next Wednesday, March 26.’

Writing for NBC Sports, Michael David Smith quotes Adam Schefter of ESPN: “There are people around the Colts organization who have been suspicious about some of his behavior.” However, no details were given about that behavior, Smith writes.

Irsay tweeted in October 2013 that he does not drink and has not had a drink in more than 15 years, AP writes, adding that Irsay said in 2002 that he had become dependent on painkillers following several orthopedic surgeries but had overcome the addiction. Bob Kravitz writes for The Indianapolis Star, in an article appearing on USA Today, that a source described Irsay as “a sick, sick man” who “desperately needs help.”

Irsay acquired the Colts in 1997 after the death of his father, Robert, and following a long battle with his father’s second wife, AP writes. Before that, Jim Irsay had done nearly every job on the team, from ball boy to general manager.

Alexander reports for Forbes that Irsay is not the first billionaire to be arrested for problems on the road. In 2011, Alice Walton, the third-richest woman in the world, was arrested for DWI on the night of her 62nd birthday. In 1989, she hit and killed a 50-year-old pedestrian in Arkansas, but no charges were ever filed, Alexander writes. And in October 2013, candy heiress Jacqueline Mars, the fourth-richest woman in the world, hit a minivan in Aldi, Va., with her Porsche SUV, killing an 86-year-old woman who was not wearing a seat belt, Alexander writes. As a result of that auto accident, the pregnant driver of the van suffered critical injuries and lost an eight-month-old unborn baby, according to a Forbes article written by Brian Solomon. Alexander notes that she pleaded guilty to reckless driving but served no time in jail.


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