According to multiple reports out of Indianapolis, Colts owner Jim Irsay will be formerly charged with two misdemeanor counts of driving while intoxicated. Reportedly, there will be no felony charges. If convicted, the charges carry 60-day jail sentences.
"Irsay has been charged with one count of operating while intoxicated, a C misdemeanor and one count of operating a vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substances or its metabolite in the body, also a C misdemeanor. The substances were oxycodone and/or hydrocodone."
On March 16th, Irsay was pulled over for, among other things, allegedly driving too slowly and stopping in the road, and he allegedly failed multiple sobriety tests. He was arrested for driving while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance, as a search of his car found several prescription drugs and pills. He has since admitted himself into rehab and checked out of rehab, getting more involved as the owner of the Colts once again, including heading to Atlanta last week to pitch Indianapolis for the Super Bowl 2018 host city at the owner's meetings.
Despite the arrest, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has not yet acted on any punishment for Irsay, which has prompted many, including Redskins safety Ryan Clark, to say that it "shows the hypocrisy of the NFL." Goodell told the media last week that he is taking a patient approach to the issue, as he mentioned Irsay hadn't even been charged with anything yet. Well, now, it sounds like Irsay will be formally charged with two misdemeanor counts of DWI.
While Goodell's lack of action to this point is nothing to get worked up about (because of the fact that the legal process was still playing out), once the charges happen it becomes much more interesting. What will Goodell's punishment of Irsay be? I expect him to come down hard on the Colts owner to try to set an example with what will likely be a combination of a fine and a suspension, but that's just me speculating. The NFL players and the players association will undoubtedly be watching this issue very closely to see if Goodell punishes an owner (who is his boss) the same as he would a player. It's time for Goodell to set a precedent, and the players are very interested in making sure it's the right one. The lack of action so far by Goodell is a non-story, really. But if it continues, it will become a big story and one that the players won't be happy with at all.
I'm glad that Irsay is doing better, as that's the most important thing here. But that doesn't negate the consequences for his actions, and it appears another step has been taken today, as multiple reports say Jim Irsay will be charged with two misdemeanor counts of driving while intoxicated.
It's been quite an offseason for the Colts, hasn't it? I can't wait for training camp...
[UPDATE:] Interestingly, Jim Irsay's lawyers basically released a statement thanking prosecutors for not charging Irsay with any felonies. The statement is below:
"We want to thank the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office for its professionalism in its investigation regarding Mr. Irsay and for devoting the necessary care and attention to determine the facts in this matter did not warrant the filing of felony charges relative to Mr. Irsay's prescription medications. Mr. Irsay will deal with the remaining misdemeanor charges through the judicial process."