WESTERN Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli admits it will not be easy for his former deputy Lachie Hunter to "atone" for his drink driving mess.
The Bulldogs hit the premiership midfielder with a string of penalties on Tuesday, including a four-game suspension once matches resume, a $5000 fine, $15,000 suspended fine and mandatory alcohol education and community service.
The club noted he had already volunteered to step down as vice-captain and drop out of the Dogs' leadership group, and Bontempelli said it would take Hunter time to moved past last week's crash, which saw teammates Billy Gowers and Bailey Smith also dragged into the aftermath.
"You can tell from his statements yesterday and obvious choice to stand down from the vice-captaincy position that he understands the magnitude of his actions. It's not something you can easily atone for," Bontempelli said on westernbulldogs.com.au.
"I'll say that it's going to be something that over time he has to work through. That's what I'll probably be guiding him on."
Hunter crashed into four cars last Thursday night when drinking.
He has already been fined for breaking social distancing rules, but is also expected to face police charges after returning a blood alcohol reading of 0.123 later in the evening after police located him at Gowers' home.
Bontempelli said winning back the club's trust would be a process.
"It's a big one. That's something that takes a lot of time to build up and earn, but it can also be lost in one fell swoop and clearly that's the case that we're in at the minute," he said.
"He's got to commit to earn that back and it will take some time, but he will get there. I'll support him every way I can in doing that.
"His growth over the last couple of years has been quite substantial when it comes to leadership but it only takes one action or behaviour for that to be reduced unfortunately to the levels it has been."