National

Witnesses had to stop drunk Wallaby’s car

By AAP Newswire

Wallabies hooker Tolu Latu was drunk and asleep at the wheel as witnesses dived into his car to stop it rolling through a Sydney intersection.

The 26-year-old on Friday was convicted, fined $1300 and had his licence disqualified for three months after pleading guilty to drink driving and driving while suspended on May 16.

Latu officially recorded a blood alcohol level of 0.135 an hour after he fell asleep while stopped at a red light near Rugby Australia headquarters at Moore Park about 4.30am.

Witnesses called police but were forced to intervene as the hooker's Mitsubishi Outlander, still in drive, rolled into the intersection of Anzac Parade and Cleveland Street.

The 110-kilogram hooker, who also plays for the NSW Waratahs, remained asleep as witnesses stopped the car and took the keys. Police tried but failed to wake him.

Eventually, paramedics roused the 12-Test hooker, who "had extremely slurred speech, was unaware of his surrounding or where he was, smelt strongly of intoxicating liquor and had bloodshot eyes", the agreed facts state.

He later told police he'd had five schooners of beer at the Milestone Hotel in Leichhardt almost 10 kilometres away.

Two days earlier, a three-month demerit point suspension had begun on Latu's provisional red P1 licence.

Following magistrate Daniel Convington's sentence on Friday, Latu will await the verdict of Rugby Australia's integrity unit, which is considering further punishment under the players' code of conduct.

Latu was initially stood down for two Waratahs matches and dropped from a Wallabies training camp.

NSW Rugby Union said he'd since entered a drink driver education course and agreed to undergo counselling.

"Everyone at NSW Rugby Union is extremely disappointed with Tolu's actions but it's pleasing to see he's taking steps to address this behaviour through education and counselling," NSWRU chief executive Andrew Hore said in a statement on Friday.

Latu won't be available for selection with club side Sydney University on Saturday.