NASCAR Chairman Brian France Arrested For DUI and Possession Of Controlled Substance
NASCAR’s Chairman and CEO Brian France was arrested Sunday night in Sag Harbor, New York, on charges of aggravated driving while intoxicated as well as criminal possession of oxycodone, a controlled substance.
According to a Sag Harbor Village (New York) Police Department news release, France was driving north on Main Street around 7:30 PM in a 2017 Lexus when he went through a stop sign without stopping. He was pulled over and the police officer determined he was “in an intoxicated condition” and had oxycodone pills in his possession. He was unsteady on his feet, slurred his speech, and failed a roadside sobriety test.
According to criminal charging documents, published first by TMZ,
“The defendant’s breath smelled of an intoxicating beverage, his speech was slurred, his eyes were glassy and red, he was unsteady on his feet and he performed poorly on several standard field sobriety tests administered.”
On the chemical sobriety test, the 56-year-old registered a 0.18, where the legal limit to drive a motor vehicle is 0.08, and the threshold for aggravated DWI is 0.18.
Five yellow pills, later discovered to be oxycodone, were also found in his possession and he was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
France was held overnight and was arraigned Monday morning in Sag Harbour Village Justice Court and released on his own recognizance.
Brian France is the grandson of NASCAR’s founder William H.G. France, and the son of Bill France Jr. He has held the position of CEO and chairman since 2003. His sister runs International Speedway Corp., the family’s publicly traded track-operating company.
NASCAR put out a statement saying:
“We are aware of an incident that occurred last night and are in the process of gathering information. We take this as a serious matter and will issue a statement after we have all the facts.”
Under NASCAR’s substance abuse policy, Brian might be suspended and required to attend a recovery program, or subjected to drug testing.
On Monday afternoon, NASCAR announced Jim France Jr. will take over the role of interim chairman and CEO of NASCAR as
“Brian France has taken an indefinite leave of absence…”
France’s attorney, Edward Burke Jr., didn’t respond to a request for comment.
This isn’t France’s first brush with the law. In 2006, France crashed his silver Lexus into a tree just outside of a condo. In that case, police officers didn’t interview him until 20 minutes after he arrived home, and he did tell officers that he’d been drinking. They did not arrest him at that time. An internal affairs investigation took place to determine if France was given special treatment by not being arrested and charged. Internal Affairs decided no special treatment was given, but the department at that time started requiring that the highest ranking supervisor on duty must be called to the scene of all DUIs and that no officer is allowed to report off-duty until all reports are completed.
As for the man himself, Brian France made the following comments on Monday evening:
“I apologize to our fans, our industry and my family for the impact of my actions last night. Effective immediately, I will be taking an indefinite leave of absence from my position to focus on my personal affairs.”
We will continue to monitor this developing story.
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