Question: In this current climate of lockdowns and self-isolation, who thinks it's a good idea, or acceptable behaviour, to not only leave their home without a satisfactory reason, but also to drive their vehicle while highly intoxicated?
Answer: Lachie Hunter, it appears.
The alleged facts of the Western Bulldogs' vice-captain's indiscretion appear clear cut. The Victorian highway patrol was called to Wright Street in Middle Park at 8:45pm on Thursday evening, where they discovered a Toyota SUV which had crashed into four parked vehicles. There was no driver at the scene, but in the back of the Toyota was a Bulldogs gym bag, embroided with Hunter's number '7'.
It's believed police later found Hunter a few kilometres away in South Yarra, where he returned a blood-alcohol reading of 0.123 - almost two-and-a-half times the legal limit in Australia.
"The man's licence was immediately suspended for 12 months," a Victoria Police statement to AFL Media read. "It is expected [he] will be charged on summons with drink driving and other traffic matters."
The Bulldogs star has made a monumental error. That much is obvious. The alleged decision to leave his home on Thursday evening, while under the influence of alcohol, and operate a vehicle is laced with stupidity and ignorance. It was dangerous and totally irresponsible, particularly for someone in the public eye.
Hunter completely ignored the swathe of state and federal government warnings to remain at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. By breaking these restrictions, he not only landed himself an AU$1,652 fine -- for breaching lockdown restrictions -- and a license suspension for 12 months, but has irreparably tainted his football career.
The incident came just hours after AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan had announced he would be revealing the competition's return date by the end of April, and one must ask themselves why the 25-year-old thought getting drunk on a Thursday night, technically still during the season, was acceptable behavior. Should he not have been prioritizing his health and fitness and awaiting the resumption of the home and away season?
There are so many other questions which beg answers. Where was he going? Why did he flee the scene? Just how intoxicated was he at the time of the incident?
Understandably, Bulldogs president Peter Gordon stood by the 2016 premiership player, citing the reason for the indiscretion as "a reflection of not dealing at all appropriately with the pressure a lot of us are under and the circumstances in which we live."
Sorry, but that just doesn't cut it. It's often said that footy players are held to a different standard. But not this time.
Right now, when lives and livelihoods across the country and globe are at risk, there's absolutely no way to justify what Hunter did. He will most likely live to regret his actions of April 16th for the rest of his playing days. Who knows, maybe the rest of his life.