Ngawakataurua O'Brien just wanted to surprise his girlfriend.

Unfortunately, doing so involved driving into Whanganui several times over the drink driving limit.

O'Brien was stopped by police on Great North Rd on January 15 due to poor driving, the Whanganui District Court heard on Tuesday. A breath test showed him to have 850mcg of alcohol on his breath. The legal limit is 250mcg.

He told police he wanted to surprise his girlfriend, police prosecutor Sergeant Drew Morrison said.

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O'Brien pleaded guilty this week to driving with excess breath alcohol.

Judge David Cameron sentenced him to 75 hours of community work and disqualified him from driving for six months.