More arrogant recklessness and poor judgement from an AFL player. This time, Geelong's Brad Ottens got picked up for driving drunk late on the Friday night (following "Mad Monday") in the leafy-green - or is that shady? - suburb of Doncaster. It's seems the capacity of footballers for getting behind the wheel while pissed knows no bounds.
The ABC kept to the facts:
Forward Brad Ottens faces disciplinary action from Geelong after failing a random breath test in Doncaster in the early hours of this morning (AEST).
Ottens was stopped by police and found to have a blood alcohol content of 0.116, more than twice the legal limit. (ABC News, 9/9/2006)
The Murdoch press was running something far more detail-packed and salubrious:
He could also lose his licence for 11 months and be fined $450.
Mr Cook said the incident was Ottens' "first strike" since joining the Cats two years ago.
He did not know Ottens had been suspended for a match over drunkenness while at the Tigers in 2000.
"I wasn't aware of that," he said.
"He's been among the more mature players at the club. We expect more of him."
Mr Cook, who was relieved no one was injured by Ottens' mistake, said the player's career was not under threat.
"He's still contracted with us. In my opinion, that's not in jeopardy," he said.
Mr Cook said Ottens had dinner and a few drinks at a hotel in Templestowe with his brother before being stopped for a random breath test on Manningham Rd.
He said Ottens had been taken to the Doncaster police station for further testing and a reading of 0.116 had been recorded.
Mr Cook said Ottens was extremely remorseful. (The Sunday Herald Sun, 10/9/2006)
The high reading - 0.116% BAC - indicates that Brad Ottens must have been noticeably pissed. Luckily for us, random breath testing pulled him over before he could do any actual damage. Luckily for Ottens, the delayed reading at the cop shop ensured he didn't blow 0.15, the point at which you can expect to answer a charge in court.
Will he end up at the AFL Division of the Magistrates Court? This, of course, is the $100,000 dollar question. Based on my discussions with court staff, it seems that someone in his situation would generally be issued an infringement notice that indicates they've lost their licence for a year without appearing before the beak. However, the police may take the case to court anyway (depending on seriousness), or the accused could elect to challenge the police's notice in court. This uncertainty is reflected in the betting market, which is all over the place at the moment, with prices on Geelong jumping markedly before falling back to $1.00 after what (bafflingly) appears to be short-selling of the stock. Meanwhile, interstate teams Brisbane Lions and Port Adelaide are going from strength to strength, seeing big price increments. What's happening over the border?
Let's hope that Brad Ottens learns his lesson about drink-driving and that the rest of the AFL clubs look at promoting the free priority taxi service a little more widely in future. Remember guys, you can't always rely on Chris Tarrant to chase up a lift for you.
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