Former NASCAR CEO Brian France pleads guilty to DWI

This undated photo provided by Sag Harbor Village Police Department on Monday Aug. 6, 2018, shows Brian France, chairman of NASCAR, taken after his arrest in New York's Hamptons for driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of oxycodone. (Sag Harbor Village Police Department via AP)

SAG HARBOR, N.Y. (AP) Former NASCAR CEO Brian France pleaded guilty Friday to driving while intoxicated in New York's Hamptons last year.

Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini said the 56-year-old France pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was ordered to complete 100 hours of community service and undergo alcohol counseling.

If he meets the requirements, the charge will be reduced to a traffic violation.

"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 in a statement. "It is not acceptable for anyone to be driving while drunk or on drugs in our community."

France, of Ormond Beach, Florida, was arrested in Sag Harbor on Aug. 5, 2018, after running a stop sign. Police said his blood alcohol level was 0.18%, more than double the legal limit.

France said in a statement emailed from his attorney's office that the arrest has given him the opportunity to reflect on his "poor judgment." He added, "I have learned valuable lessons and will be a better person because of this process."

France took a leave of absence from NASCAR after his arrest and was replaced as chairman and CEO by his uncle, Jim France.

Brian France had led the auto racing company founded by his late grandfather, Bill France Sr., since 2003.

Updated June 7, 2019

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