We need to talk about Doug Bracewell.
You will have heard by now that the cricketer has pleaded guilty to drink driving. He was more than three times over the limit and he's been charged under provisions for those who have two or more previous offences - so this is third offence. Bracewell says an urgent issue arose at home. We don't know what that was.
We know about it now because his name suppression was lifted yesterday, so he put out a statement saying "I stuffed up, it's my fault, I have to face the consequences".
The Cricket Players Association says it's good to see him put his hand up and say he needs to be accountable for his actions.
Except he didn't put his hand up, did he? We can't give the guy credit for putting his hand up when he's only doing it because his name was going to be made public so he issued a statement following the script of PR 101.
If he truly believed it was not okay, how has it taken him three "stuff ups" to figure that out?
Yes, he gets more heat for this than Jo Public might because he has a profile, but I would hazard a guess he'll also get more leniency in sentencing because of what he does for a living.
He's 26 and he became a professional sportsman at a young age and there are pressures that come with it - I get that.
But there are pressures associated with being a top lawyer, with being a teacher and with being a stay-at-home mum.
Sports people are more than fairly compensated for the added pressure of having to stay on the straight and narrow because of the job, and not drinking and driving is not exactly a tall order. It's not hard to avoid and we've had it drummed into us for years that it's dangerous. I have zero tolerance for any excuses as to why you might.
If the problem is that he has an issue with alcohol, NZ Cricket needs to learn from NZ Rugby's mistakes with Zach Guildford and get him some help, stat. If he's just selfish and irresponsible, then they need to take a hard line and impose their own sanctions on top of whatever the court decides. The maximum sentence here, by the way, is two years in jail, but a fine is more likely.
I didn't actually realise New Zealand still had an issue with this. Who is stupid enough to drink and drive these days? But the stats tell me that in 2015, alcohol or drugs contributed to 90 deaths on the roads, 409 serious injuries and 1214 minor injuries. The social cost of those crashes is put at $790 million.
This is no minor offence and no one, no matter what their batting average or whatever is, should underestimate the seriousness of the decision to get behind the wheel when you've been drinking.
- Nadine Higgins is a host at Newstalk ZB