A man riding his motorbike with the headlight off in the middle of the night was nearly four times over the legal alcohol limit.

James Wirihana Burke was nabbed on October 8 at 11.47pm when he was stopped by police, Judge David Cameron said in Whanganui District Court yesterday.

The bike had no lights on, and a breath test showed Burke had 941mcg of alcohol on his breath. The legal limit is 250mcg.

Burke, 25, pleaded guilty to driving with excess breath alcohol third or subsequent.

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He has two previous drink-driving convictions.

Defence lawyer Anna Brosnahan said there was "no poor driving" in the incident aside from his lights being out.

Judge Cameron said Burke "has clearly got a problem with alcohol abuse and if that's not addressed there's a prospect of his offending escalating".

"Regrettably he appears to be a user of drugs as well, pointing again to the need for interventional programmes."

He sentenced Burke to six months of community detention with a 7pm-7am curfew. He also disqualified Burke from driving indefinitely, and ordered that when Burke was allowed to reapply for a licence, it be a zero-alcohol licence.