WESTERN Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said it was Lachie Hunter's decision to call his management instead of the club after last month's drink driving incident that slowed down the club's response.
Hunter was hit with a four-game ban when games resume and relinquished his vice-captaincy after the drunken car crash last month.
The club also fined him $5000, he was hit with $15,000 worth of suspended fines and Hunter will undertake mandatory alcohol education and community service.
Beveridge said Hunter's initial response had not followed club practice.
"These situations the first place your mind goes to is hoping everyone is all right, including Lachie, and making sure no one is physically injured or otherwise," Beveridge told Fox Footy on Saturday.
"Unfortunately it took us a couple of days to work through it. Lachie would put his hand up and say he didn't follow club protocols at the start, he called his manager rather than representatives of the club. That's why it took so long for us to [process] it."
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Teammates Billy Gowers and Bailey Smith were implicated in the aftermath of the crash, which saw four cars damaged.
After the Dogs' investigation, Gowers was hit with a suspended $5000 fine after Hunter was driven to his apartment and didn't inform the club of the incident as soon as possible.
Smith was cleared for his involvement, which saw him drive Hunter to Gowers' residence, however he was fined by Victoria Police for breaking social distancing laws.
Beveridge said the club would support the premiership midfielder.
"My [initial] conversation was asking him how he was. I didn't want to know all the detail, but helping him understand the seriousness of what had transpired," he said.
"Straight away you go into working out what your own vision of coming out the other side is: When will it be? How quickly can we do it? I reassured him that we're here to support him as long as he taps into club resources and we can all get through it together.
"We finally got there on the Monday afternoon and were able to make some public statements on the Tuesday."