New Zealand fast bowler Doug Bracewell has been sentenced to 100 hours of community work for the drink-driving offence he had pleaded guilty to in the Hastings District Council last month. Bracewell has also been disqualified from driving for a year.
On March 18, Bracewell, 26, was pulled over by police while driving in Hastings, where he returned a breath-alcohol reading of 783 micrograms per litre of breath, which is more than three times the legal limit. The considerable gap between his drink-driving offences was also a factor in the sentence. This was Bracewell's third drink-driving offence in ten years: the previous instances were in 2008 and 2010.
According to local media reports, Bracewell's lawyer told the Hastings District Court that the allrounder had been drinking at a social gathering when he received a distress call from his partner, after the couple's cockatoo was killed by dogs they were minding on behalf of a friend. The counsel argued that the offence did not occur out of disregard for road-safety protocol, but out of "genuine concern" for his girlfriend.
New Zealand Cricket said it would not impose any additional penalty. "NZC notes Mr Bracewell suffered a serious leg injury in February and is unlikely to resume his competitive cricket career until next summer," local media quoted the board as saying.
"Under these circumstances, and considering the penalty imposed in the Hastings District Court today, NZC will be taking no further punitive action."
Apart from his drink-driving offences, Bracewell was banned for one match in 2012 after he and former New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder were involved in an altercation with another individual at a Napier bar.
Bracewell later said the judgement "was pretty fair".
"I'm just looking forward to moving on... and obviously not getting behind a wheel anytime soon after having a few drinks. It was an unfortunate situation, but that's no excuse for driving a vehicle while having a few drinks. I'm disappointed in myself, but, at the same, time I'm just wanting to move forward."