Whangarei police say family members who pulled a 10-year-old boy out of a car moments before his drunk mother drove off in the vehicle and crashed probably saved him from injury.
Acting Sergeant Jeremy Weston said a 29-year-old Auckland woman was at the family home in Hikurangi on Saturday evening when she tried to drive off with her son while allegedly "very drunk".
He said family members were unable to stop the woman, but managed to get the 10-year-old boy out from the vehicle.
Mr Weston said the woman crashed the car at the end of the driveway then drove another 500m before she got out and walked from the badly damaged vehicle.
Family members restrained her until police arrived and she was arrested.
Mr Weston said once at the station, the woman refused to give a breath or blood sample and was arrested and charged with careless driving and refusing an officer's request to give blood and will appear in the Whangarei District Court this week.
Mr Weston praised the family, saying the child could have been injured in the subsequent crash.