Jim Irsay suspended six games

The case was closely watched around the NFL -- not least among players -- because there are few examples of the league punishing an owner like Irsay. Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand was suspended for 30 days and fined $100,000 in 2010 for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy following his guilty plea to driving while impaired.

Irsay will be on probation for a year and is prohibited from drinking or possessing alcohol during that time. Ninety days was added to his year-long suspension of his driver's license.  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. He left the courtroom with his attorneys once the hearing ended and didn't immediately speak with reporters.

Irsay acknowledged in 2002 he had become dependent on painkillers after several 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 had 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.

"In retrospect, I now know that the incident opened my eyes to issues in my life that needed addressing and helped put me on the path to regain my health," Irsay said in his statement Tuesday. "I truly hope and pray that my episode will help in some small measure to diminish the stigma surrounding our country's terrible and deadly problem of addiction. It is a disease like other progressive, terminal diseases -- one that can only be successfully treated by understanding, committed hard work, and spiritual growth. I am deeply grateful for the tremendous outpouring of love and support during these past few months from my family, friends, care-givers, and our great community. Please know I am firmly committed to staying on my path to good health and I look forward to a great season."

Irsay told the judge he is still under the care of a doctor and an orthopedic specialist who prescribe medications for him. Under terms of his probation, Irsay must provide officials with all current medication prescriptions.

Irsay became the Colts owner in 1997 after the death of his father, Robert Irsay, and a lengthy legal battle with his father's second wife. Forbes magazine has estimated Irsay's net worth at $1.6 billion.

He has helped build the Colts into a top NFL team over the past decade behind quarterback Peyton Manning, now with Denver. He is working with some success to rebuild the team behind young quarterback Andrew Luck while coping with a divorce that follows a decade-long separation from his wife of 33 years.

ESPN.com Colts reporter Mike Wells and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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