The chief executive overseeing the massively popular NASCAR sports franchise is in hot water following a traffic stop in Sag Harbor, according to local reports. New York police report they arrested CEO Brian France on Aug. 5 under suspicion of drunk driving. So far, it is unclear whether Mr. France has retained criminal defense representation.
According to the arrest report, officers in New York pulled Mr. France over after he allegedly failed to stop at a marked stop sign. Officers on the scene said they believed he was intoxicated at the time of the stop, though they did not mention what prompted their suspicion. Police arrested Mr. France and conducted a search of his person, whereupon he was found to be carrying what officers believed to be oxycodone pills.
At some point, officers also conducted a blood test, though it is unclear when this test took place. They say the results indicated a blood alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit of .08 in New York. NASCAR has issued a statement indicating it is looking into the matter internally, and that it takes the allegations seriously. Bail arrangements for Mr. France were not reported.
Drunk driving charges can be crippling for any New York resident, but this is particularly true of the CEO of a major company who stands to lose considerably more if convicted. In addition to the possibility of jail time, Mr. France's position in NASCAR leadership could be placed in jeopardy. Nevertheless, the burden of proof rests on the prosecution to actually prove the formal charges in court and beyond a reasonable doubt. His criminal defense team will review the facts and law of the case with a view toward getting the charges reduced or dismissed altogether.