A young Dannevirke man was told if he appeared in court again on a drink-driving charge he could go to jail.

Waka Waipara Waitai Petera, 22, who faced a charge of driving with a breath-alcohol level of 789 in Dannevirke on October 27, was given the stern warning by Judge Jonathan Krebs when he appeared for sentence in Dannevirke District Court recently.

Counsel Nicola Graham told the court Petera was a young man who had lived an otherwise very good life but that he quite obviously had a substance abuse problem.

"He did not tell his father about this charge, such was his shame about it, but he has been taking the steps that need to be taken."

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Judge Krebs told Petera he was still a young man and he was surprised and a little sad that he had amassed a list of convictions.

"You have an issue with alcohol and driving after drinking. You have previous convictions of driving with readings of 875 and 1011. That's getting up to an almost lethal level."

He told Petera if he appeared on another drink-driving charge he would be given a custodial sentence of either prison or community detention.

"You know you have to address this issue. But your family is highly supportive of you and are prepared to have you in their home while you are on community detention."

Judge Krebs sentenced Petera to nine months' community detention and nine months' supervision. He is to undertake suitable substance abuse programmes and any others recommended by Corrections.

He was disqualified from driving for a year and a day.

Napier man Alan John Davies, 55, recorded a reading of 767 when he was stopped in Dannevirke on November 9.

Counsel Graham said Davies was nervous of appearing in court as he was fully aware he could face a period of imprisonment.

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However, she submitted that in this case a sentence of home detention would be supported.

"He does have previous convictions spanning four decades, but there have been long periods where he has had no convictions, his last being in 1989."

Graham told the court Davies had been drinking the night before he was caught and hadn't eaten but made the decision to drive home.

In looking at Davies' previous convictions Judge Krebs noted he had a history of family violence.

"Do you feel safe from your own violence? If you are at home all the time would you go stir crazy?"

He told Davies if he was sentenced to home detention he would need to have a plan in place if things were to get difficult.

"It's better to know the warning signs before things turn to custard."

Judge Krebs said it wasn't clear if Davies was drinking too much or making the wrong decisions.

"This is your eighth drink-driving charge. Ordinarily people on this number of charges would go to prison but home detention is the least restrictive sentence and the most rehabilitative."

Judge Krebs told Davies home detention was difficult, but he had stable housing, stable social systems around him and age was on his side.

In sentencing Davies to six months' home detention Judge Krebs said one of the conditions would be that he could not consume alcohol.

"You will need to talk to your probation officer if things get too hard."

Judge Krebs ordered medium intensity rehabilitation.

"This will get you out of the house for several hours on four days of the week.

"If you don't like home detention I can assure you won't like prison. If you don't make it on home detention this time you won't get another chance at it."

He disqualified Davies from driving for 18 months.

He would be subject to an Interlock device fitted to his vehicle once he could drive.

A man caught drink-driving in Dannevirke on December 6 had since given up alcohol, counsel Graham told the court.

Desmond Dion Tumanako Kennedy, 38, had a breath-alcohol level of 443. He been convicted of drink-driving at least twice before.

Graham said Kennedy's breath-alcohol level was relatively low and his most recent previous conviction was 10 years ago.

"He works six or seven days a week. He has given up alcohol so that he can spend the money on doing things with his children."

She said a driving disqualification would impact on his work as he picked up a crew of workers each day.

Judge Krebs noted that Kennedy had several previous convictions, but they were largely in the past.

He saw Kennedy's latest incident as a slip up.

Kennedy was fined $750 and $130 costs.

He was disqualified from driving for a year and a day.

Had Jay-Dee Lilo waited a week before driving after drinking he would not have had to appear in court.

Lilo was facing a charge of being under 20 he drove with alcohol in his system.

"If you had been 20 you would have been under the limit," Judge Krebs said, fining Lilo $450 and $130 costs.

He was disqualified from driving for three months.