Black Caps cricketer Doug Bracewell was sentenced to 100 hours of community work and disqualified from driving for 12 months after driving at more than three times the legal limit this year.

The 26-year-old was pulled over on East Rd in Haumoana in March and recorded a breath-alcohol reading of 783mcg. The legal limit is 250mcg.

At sentencing in the Hastings District Court in May the court was told Bracewell had consumed a few drinks at a function when he got a distressed call from his partner and decided to drive home.

She had phoned him to say their pet cockatoo had been killed by dogs they were looking after for a friend.


Bracewell's defence counsel, Ron Mansfield, said the offending had not arisen out of disregard for road rules but out of "genuine concern" for his partner.

Judge Bridget Mackintosh sentenced him under provisions for offenders who already have two or more drink-driving convictions.

In 2010 Bracewell was convicted in the Masterton District Court for driving with excess breath-alcohol when he was 20 years old. He was sentenced to six months' supervision and disqualified from driving for eight months.

He was first convicted of drink-driving in the Napier District Court in 2008, at age 18 years, for a breath-alcohol reading of 877mcg - more than double the legal limit of 400mcg which applied at the time.

He was fined $500 and disqualified from driving for six months.

Mr Mansfield said Bracewell had acknowledged how serious the offending was and realised he had let himself, his family and New Zealand Cricket down.

"This offending in my submissions should be seen as an unfortunate hiccup and something that doesn't reflect the man he has become or the sportsman."

In a previous appearance one charge of careless driving had been withdrawn and interim name suppression, granted after Bracewell's first appearance, was lifted.

Bracewell said he had made an "extremely bad call" to drive home from a function after a "personal and urgent issue arose at home".

"I should have made a better call as to how to get home and didn't. I was just worried and drove. I accept that mistake."

The Hawke's Bay-based cricketer added he had accepted he must be held accountable and hoped others would think twice in similar circumstances.

During sentencing, Judge Mackintosh noted Bracewell was a man of "considerable talent" and accepted his somewhat-historic previous drink-driving convictions.

However, she rejected Mr Mansfield's proposed sentence of a fine, noting Bracewell's breath-alcohol reading was "relatively high", and said community work would be appropriate.

The maximum penalty Bracewell could have incurred is two years in jail, 12 months' disqualification or a $6000 fine.