Brian France pleads guilty to DWI charge

Image by Ehrhardt/LAT

Brian France pleads guilty to DWI charge


Brian France pleads guilty to DWI charge


Former NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France has pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated in Sag Harbor, New York last August.

The Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini announced the plea Friday.

France, 56, was arrested the night of the Watkins Glen race after he failed to stop at a stop sign and was found in criminal possession of a controlled substance. France’s blood alcohol level was .18 percent, and officers found him to have slurred speech and bloodshot, glassy eyes.

Under the terms of the plea agreement France will have to complete 100 hours of community service and undergo alcohol counseling before his sentencing date. If France is successful, he will be able to withdraw his guilty plea, and the charge will be reduced to a traffic violation (driving while ability impaired). However, if France does not comply, he will be sentenced on a misdemeanor conviction.

“I am grateful for the court’s consideration of all the facts in this case and I will follow their direction and recommendations as we move forward,” France said in a statement.

“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. I have learned valuable lessons and will be a better person because of this process.”

France is to be sentenced in Sag Harbor Village Justice Court on June 5, 2020.

“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,” said Sini. “It is not acceptable for anyone to be driving while drunk or on drugs in our community.”

After his arrest, France took an indefinite leave of absence from the sport, with Jim France assuming the role in his place.