NASCAR chairman takes leave after LI arrest on DWI, drug charges

Posted: Updated:
SAG HARBOR -

NASCAR chairman Brian France has announced he is taking a leave of absence after he was arrested on DWI and drug charges in Sag Harbor over the weekend.

Police say France was arrested 7:30 p.m. Sunday for driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of oxycodone.

He allegedly had a blood-alcohol content that was more than twice the legal limit. Officers say he smelled of alcohol and had slurred speech when he was pulled over after he blew through a stop sign.

France was held overnight and was arraigned Monday at Sag Harbor Village Justice Court. He has since been released.

"I apologize to our fans, our industry and my family for the impact of my actions last night," France said in a statement Monday. "Effective immediately, I will be taking an indefinite leave of absence from my position to focus on my personal affairs."

France has been NASCAR's chairman and CEO since 2003. His uncle, Jim France, a vice chairman and executive vice president, will take over those roles on an interim basis.

France is a third-generation leader of NASCAR. His late grandfather, Bill France Sr., founded the company in 1948.

Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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