NRL star Greg Inglis has been placed on a good behaviour bond but escaped conviction after he was caught drink driving and speeding on the way home from a regional NSW rugby league tournament.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs captain had been named skipper of the national team just hours before he was caught driving at 99kmh in an 80 zone on the outskirts of Lithgow on October 1, 2018.
Inglis pleaded guilty to drink driving in November and on Monday NSW chief magistrate Graeme Henson handed Inglis an 18-month conditional release order noting his loss of the captaincy, driving and playing suspensions, and substantial charity work.
Downing Centre Local Court heard Inglis – whose blood alcohol was officially recorded as 0.085 in the early afternoon of October 1 – didn’t know how much he drank the night before while celebrating the end of the Koori Knockout tournament in Dubbo.
But he stopped shortly before midnight, waited until 11am to drive and then had a schooner at lunch on the drive back to Sydney.
“It must have been quite a heavy night before,” Judge Henson said.
“I accept you did your best at that time. None of us are perfect as much as we try.”
But the chief magistrate lectured the NRL star on the risk drink drivers pose to the community.
“Driving at speed while drink driving makes you something like three or four times more likely to crash,” he told Inglis.
“There is only one safe approach – drink and don’t drive or drive and don’t drink”
A number of character references, including from Australian Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga and NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg, were tendered by Inglis’s lawyer James Jordan.