Colts owner Irsay pleads guilty to misdemeanor in drug case

Colts owner Jim Irsay was arrested March 16 near his home in Indianapolis.

Darron Cummings/AP

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay must submit to drug testing for a year after pleading guilty on Tuesday to a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated stemming from his arrest after a traffic stop in March.

The 55-year-old Irsay admitted to a Hamilton County judge that he was under the influence of the painkillers oxycodone and hydrocodone when he was arrested on March 16 near his home in the Indianapolis suburb of Carmel.

Irsay will be on probation for a year and is prohibited from drinking or possessing alcohol during that time. His driver’s license also was suspended for one year. Judge J. Richard Campbell asked Irsay about his history of prescription drug troubles.

"Yes, I’ve had it in the past … when I was dealing with the effects after having surgery," Irsay said in court.

Irsay acknowledged in 2002 he had become dependent on painkillers after years of orthopedic operations. He said then that he had overcome the problem.

Less than 48 hours after his March arrest, the Colts said Irsay entered a treatment facility. He was back with the Colts management at the NFL draft in early May.

Carmel police said Irsay was arrested after an officer spotted him driving slowly, stopping in the roadway and failing to use a turn signal. Officers said he had trouble reciting the alphabet and failed field sobriety tests. Various prescription drugs were found in his vehicle, along with more than $29,000 in cash.

Irsay has also drawn a six-game suspension and a $500,000 fine from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.