NASCAR CEO Charged With DWI, Possession in Hamptons

Brian France was arrested Sunday night
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2018 1:45 PM CDT
NASCAR CEO Allegedly Had BAC Over 0.18 When Stopped
In this Jan. 23, 2017, file photo, Brian France, Chairman of NASCAR, gives opening remarks prior to an announcement of NASCAR's approach to modernizing its series with a new format, in Charlotte, NC.   (Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer via AP, File)

NASCAR CEO and chairman Brian France spent Monday morning being arraigned in the Hamptons after being pulled over Sunday night in Sag Harbor Village and allegedly found to be under the influence and in possession of oxycodone pills. ESPN reports he was charged with aggravated DWI and criminal possession, and cites a news release from the local police department that says he was driving a 2017 Lexus on Main Street when police allegedly observed him "failing to stop at a duly posted stop sign." After being "lawful[ly] arrested," a search of his person turned up the pills, per the release.

  • TMZ first reported the arrest of the 56-year-old, whom it refers to as "one of the most powerful people in professional sports." It reports via sources that France's blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit, and similarly relies on unnamed sources to claim France referenced the powerful friends he had, allegedly even mentioning the president, during the incident.
  • The Washington Post suggests TMZ's BAC report is true, in that under New York state law, a DWI charge applies to BAC of .08 or higher, and Aggravated DWI applies to BAC of 0.18 or higher; France was charged with the latter.

  • NASCAR has released a brief statement: "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 of the facts."
  • ESPN cites NASCAR's substance abuse policy, under which France could be suspended, though the Post notes it's unclear if executives fall under the sport's Road to Recovery drug-testing program.
  • The AP reports France had a vehicular incident in 2006, when he drove into a tree in Daytona Beach, Florida. It says a witness who called 911 reported France was speeding and ran into a parked car before hitting the tree; France reportedly told police he "bumped into something" while drinking a soda. The Post reports allegations were made in a 2009 book that France had done a stint at California's Betty Ford Center, but France has fiercely denied that.
  • As far as his family history, France's grandfather started NASCAR in 1948, per USA Today, and France took the helm from his own father in 2003.
(More NASCAR stories.)

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