Former NASCAR CEO Brian France pleads guilty to DWI in New York

Former NASCAR CEO Brian France pleads guilty to DWI in New York
Sag Harbor Village Police via CNN
NASCAR CEO Brian France's mugshot

Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO for nearly 15 years, pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated on Friday.

He was arrested on New York’s Long Island on allegations of aggravated driving while intoxicated in August of last year.

Under the terms of a plea agreement, France, 56, is required to do 100 hours of community service and undergo alcohol counseling before his sentencing date, according to a statement from Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini.

“This case is a reminder for both residents and anyone visiting Suffolk County this summer that it is all of our responsibility to keep our roads safe,” Sini said. “It is not acceptable for anyone to be driving while drunk or on drugs in our community.”

If France meets the requirements, he will be able to withdraw his guilty plea, and the charge will be reduced to a traffic violation of driving while ability impaired.

France thanked the court in a statement and said he will follow its recommendations.

“While I made a mistake, this event has also given me the opportunity to reflect on my poor judgment that day, my family and my greater responsibilities to our community,” he said. “I have learned valuable lessons and will be a better person because of this process.”

Sentencing was scheduled for June 2020.

France was driving a 2017 Lexus on Sag Harbor Village on Long Island at 7:30 p.m. on August 5, 2017, and ran a stop sign, police said. During a traffic stop, it was determined he was operating the vehicle while intoxicated, police said.

After his arrest, he announced he was stepping away from his jobs indefinitely. Jim France, Brian France’s uncle, took over as chairman and CEO.

NASCAR, the governing body for US stock car racing, was founded in late 1947 by Bill France Sr., a race car driver and gas station owner, and has stayed in the France family since. Brian France is the grandson of Bill France Sr. and was named NASCAR’s chairman of the board and CEO in September 2003.

CNN’s Elizabeth Joseph and Tatyana Bellamy-Walker contributed to this report.