Media sources in Carmel, Indiana, are reporting that 54-year-old Jim Irsay, the owner of the Indianapolis Colts, has been taken into police custody on suspicion of DUI. According to the officer that pulled him over, Irsay was seen driving slowly, stopping in the middle of the road and failing to use his turn signals. Upon making contact with the defendant, the officer says that he agreed to perform field sobriety tests. The officer judged that he failed the test. Representatives of the National Football League have released a statement in response to the incident saying that Irsay may face disciplinary proceedings in the near future.
In addition to charging him with misdemeanor DUI, police claim that they found illicit substances inside his car that have not yet been identified. Whatever their precise nature may be, their presence has caused Irsay to be charged with four counts of felony possession of a controlled substance, each of which carries a possible sentence of between six months and three years in prison. The defendant has since been released from the Hamilton County Jail after having posted a bond of $22,500.
Ascertaining what substances the police claim to have found will almost certainly be one of the primary concerns of Irsay’s defense attorneys. While police are trained to preliminarily identify certain narcotic substances, it is possible for mistakes to be made. More thorough chemical testing can sometimes be a lengthy process. If the substances are not what police allege that they are, it is possible to have the felony charges dismissed.
Moreover, assessing a field sobriety test as either “pass” or “fail” is not a black and white procedure. Since these tests tend to be highly subjective, determining their successful completion is often left to the discretion of the law enforcement officer who administers them. It may be necessary to investigate which field sobriety tests were administered, verify that the administered field sobriety tests are indeed standardized and ascertain what criteria the officer used when he made his allegations against the defendant.