What to Know
- Former NASCAR CEO Brian France pleaded guilty to drunken driving in connection with an August traffic stop on Long Island
- He can withdraw the plea if he finishes 100 community service hours and undergoes alcohol counseling before his sentencing date in June 2020
- France took an indefinite leave from NASCAR after his arrest; that leave became permanent earlier this year
The former CEO of NASCAR pleaded guilty to driving drunk in connection with an August traffic stop on Long Island in which police had also alleged illegal drugs were found in his possession, prosecutors said Friday.
Under the terms of a plea agreement, 56-year-old Brian France, of Florida, is required to complete 100 hours of community service and undergo alcohol counseling before his sentencing date. If he does that, he will be able to withdraw his guilty plea and the charge will be reduced to a traffic violation of driving while ability impaired. If he doesn't comply, he will be sentenced on the misdemeanor conviction in June 2020.
France was stopped shortly after 7 p.m. on Aug. 5 in Sag Harbor after cops saw him blow by a stop sign. The officer noted a strong odor of alcohol on his breath; France was also said to have slurred speech, watery bloodshot eyes and have been unsteady on his feet. A breathalyzer test showed his blood alcohol content was 0.18 percent, more than double the legal limit.
Police also said at the time that he was in possession of oxycodone pills, but that allegation is not mentioned in the plea agreement revealed Friday.
France issued a statement apologizing days after the top.
“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,” he said.
NASCAR said the day news of his arrest broke that France had taken an indefinite leave of absence. That leave became permanent earlier this year.