NASCAR chairman Brian France has been charged in Sag Harbor, N.Y., with aggravated driving in drunk and criminal possession of a controlled subject.
France, 56, arrested 19:30 Sunday evening, Sag Harbor police said in a press release . He was held overnight and arraigned at 9:30 on Monday, where he was released on his own again.
“Mr. France was observed operating a 2017 Lexus north on Main Street that did not end on a properly posted stop sign,” said the press release. “At a traffic jam it was decided that France’s operator drove the vehicle in a drunk state. When he searched for his person due to a legal arrest, France had possession of oxycodone pills.”
According to the New York Act, a charge of aggravated driving is applied in drunk use when the person’s blood alcohol content is .1
8 or higher. The statutory limit during driving is .08. Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, with which France’s accusation has been invoked, means the person who “consciously and illegally has a controlled subject” with more than one balance.
France became president and CEO of NASCAR 2003, a position that makes him one of the most powerful figures in sports.
“We are aware of an event that happened last night and is collecting information,” NASCAR said in a brief statement Monday. “We take this as a serious matter and will issue a statement after we have all the facts.”
France and his wife Amy were photographed in their New York City Penthouse in a 2016 profile in the Haute Living magazine. The Hamptons, including Sag Harbor, is a collection of communities on the eastern end of Long Island, which has long been a weekend and summer flight to New Yorkers. Real estate prices are among the highest in the country.
France is the grandson of Bill France Sr., who joined NASCAR in 1948 and followed his father, Bill France Jr., in pursuing family-owned activities. But slow TV ratings, staggering attendance and the loss of some key sponsors have weighed on the business in recent years.
In April, NASCAR announced that it would go to a “new business model” by leaving an individual sponsor for its top-level Cup Series starting in the 2020 season. Reuters reported in May that the France family was in preliminary negotiations on the potential sale of its share. Forbes reported in June that the family sought only minority investors.
ESPN estimates that NASCAR, including family-owned tracks, is worth $ 3 billion to $ 5 billion.
Staff author Brendan Marks contributed. ]
Bruce Henderson: 704-358-5051; @bhender