Canberra Raiders player admits ‘poor judgement’ in Christmas Day drink driving
A remorseful Canberra Raiders player has today taken responsibility for his actions outside court, saying he made a “poor judgment” to get behind the wheel in the early hours of Christmas Day while heavily intoxicated.
“I apologise to the club, obviously the NRL as well, my family, my friends, my teammates,” Corey Harawira-Naera said.
“It was just a poor judgment on my behalf to put myself in this position.”
Harawira-Naera was pulled over by police in the Capital at 4.30am, and told officers he had consumed about 10 beers and six or seven shots over more than eight hours while out with a group of friends on Christmas Eve.
Police documents reveal the 25-year-old was speaking quickly, his eyes were bloodshot and he had difficulty remembering exactly where he had driven.
He then blew 0.12 – nearly two-and-a-half times the legal limit – and had his driver’s licence suspended on the spot.
His lawyer today saying he made a “very poor decision, which he deeply regrets”, not to leave his car in the city and get an Uber home.
Magistrate James Lawton pointed out the foolishness of Harawira-Naera’s actions, saying “a silly decision like this to save $50 on an Uber has cost you a lot of money”.
The Raiders player, who’s since been dropped to reserve grade, is no stranger to controversy.
Last year, he was tied up in a schoolgirl sex scandal during pre-season training camp with the Bulldogs.
He’s also the second Raiders player to face a drink-driving charge this year.
Last month, Corey Horsburgh pleaded guilty to having up to 11 Christmas drinks before driving.
The NRL Integrity Unit has given its own punishment to both players – fining Harawira-Naera $10,000 and a two-match ban.
Taking into account his early guilty plea today and penalties by the NRL already, Magistrate Lawton slapped the 25-year-old with a $250 fine and suspended his driver’s licence for three months.
Harawira-Naera has now served his driver’s licence disqualification, with today marking his first day allowed back behind the wheel.
The Raiders forward has not been named for this weekend’s game against the Warriors.