Jim Irsay arrested for DUI, possession of controlled substance

Colts owner Jim Irsay has been arrested in Carmel, Indiana on multiple charges.

According to the Indianapolis Star, Irsay faces preliminary charges of “operating while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance.”  Bond has been set at $22,500.

Irsay is the first NFL owner to face criminal charges since Eddie DeBartolo relinquished control of the 49ers when it was learned that he was facing an indictment on federal racketeering charges in 1997.  In 1998, DeBartolo pleaded guilty to failure to report a felony in connection with money allegedly paid to former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards to procure a riverboat gambling license.

The NFL routinely imposes discipline on players and non-players who are convicted of or plead guilty to DUI charges.  To have any credibility when punishing non-owners for such offenses, the NFL must be willing to impose discipline on owners, too.

When players are arrested for drunk driving, one of the arguments raised is that they can afford to pay for a ride home.  With a net worth of $1.6 billion, Irsay definitely can.