Hawthorn captain Luke Hodge was confident he was under the limit when he drove away after a few drinks with mates before being found by police to have an alcohol reading of 0.068.
The three-time AFL premiership player and former number one draft pick was tested by police on Thursday night.
Hodge had been given club approval to attend the social function, and the 31-year-old says he had three to four drinks on the night.
“I thought I was no problem to drive,” he told the Seven Network on Friday.
“Even when I pulled up to the breathalyser, I was very confident I was no issue.”
On top of a fine of $450, Hodge lost 10 demerit points.
He would never have gotten behind the wheel if he thought the drinks had put him over the limit, he says.
“I made a silly call, an error of judgment, and feel like an idiot.”
Hawthorn’s football operations general manager, Chris Fagan, said Hodge told the club immediately and co-operated with police.
“Luke understands that as a father of two young boys and a leader of our footy club, he is in a position to set an example for the community in regards to road safety, and is extremely remorseful,” Fagan said.
Fagan said the club is disappointed in the captain’s error of judgment.
“The club has spoken to him and the police about the matter and we believe the penalty he has received is appropriate,” he said.
Hodge is suspended from playing after slamming the head of Port Adelaide player Chad Wingard into a goalpost.
He is due to return in time for Hawthorn’s first final next week.