Titans forward Paul Carter has been hit with a hefty fine and suspension after he was charged with drink driving in Surfers Paradise earlier this week.
The rookie was yesterday handed a $12,000 fine of which $6000 will be suspended for 12 months. The immediate $6000 fine will be paid to a charity of his choice.
He was also slapped with a two match suspension, resulting in a further $6000 in forfeited match payments.
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As part of the penalties handed down by the NRL integrity unit, he will also have to complete an alcohol management course and a traffic offenders course.
Carter was stopped by police after driving the wrong way down Orchid Avenue in Surfers Paradise on Thursday morning.
He was later charged with high-range drinking driving after allegedly recording a blood alcohol reading of over four times the legal limit.
In a statement, Carter apologised for his actions, saying what he did was wrong and potentially dangerous.
“I just want to apologise to my family, friends, teammates, coaching staff, management and our supporters for letting them down and for the embarrassment I have caused.
“I was moving my car from outside a restaurant to a nearby overnight secure car park. But it was a mistake getting behind the wheel in the first place, which could’ve put people’s lives in danger and for that I am deeply sorry.
“I know the Titans is a club that works very hard on its role within the community, I am very sorry if I have damaged that reputation.
“I made a terrible mistake that I aim to learn from and never repeat. I very much appreciate the support and advice I have received since the incident from teammates, coaches and management here at the Titans, also my family and friends.
“I hope I can repay them by learning from this mistake and moving forward as a better person.”
Titans CEO Graham Annesley acknowledged the last 24 hours has been a difficult time for Paul emotionally and could not have come at a worse time for the club.
“However we treat these matters very seriously. Discipline on the field requires similar discipline off the field and the club’s response is a clear indication of that,” said Annesley.
“But on a positive note it’s pleasing to see that Paul has accepted full responsibility and the punishment that goes with it.
“Our job as a club is not just to hand out penalties when players do the wrong thing, but also to help them rehabilitate and turn them into better people. Hopefully Paul will benefit in the long term from the club’s tough stance.”