A 15-year-old girl has been sent to a youth justice facility after being convicted of drink-driving three times - twice when she was 14 and pregnant.

The girl was appearing in the Whangarei Youth Court for a review of an earlier sentence and to be sentenced on charges of driving with excess blood alcohol and driving while unlicensed.

In June, she was sentenced to community-based supervision on two charges of driving with excess breath alcohol, four burglaries, one aggravated robbery, resisting police, driving while unlicensed and giving false details to police.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was caught drink-driving twice in just over a week in January while she was 14 and pregnant.

At the time, the girl recorded levels of 828mcg and 766mcg of alcohol per litre of breath, compared with the legal limit for motorists under 20 of 150mcg.

The girl gave birth in May and the child is in care.

Then, in August, the girl was caught driving with excess blood alcohol.

Youth Court Judge Tim Druce said she had shown she was unable to respond to the community-based sentence without reoffending.

Judge Druce said he understood the care and protection elements of the case, as highlighted by youth lawyer Julie Young, but his priority was for the girl to be held accountable for her actions.

"You were given an opportunity of complying with the supervision order in the community," the judge said.

"In August, you again were caught driving with excess blood alcohol. It's a repeat offence.

"That's a serious offence and underlines the alcohol issues you have and your propensity to reoffend.

"Because of your actions the supervision order opportunity given in June is no longer appropriate."

Judge Druce sent the girl to a youth justice facility in the South Island for three months, but said she could be released in two months if she co-operated and complied with the conditions of her care.

He also ordered the girl to undertake six months of supervision after she is released.

Ms Young said the girl had already spent time in custody on remand since the latest offence, and that was the equivalent of a seven- or eight-month jail term if she had appeared in the adult court for drink driving.

"She's a young person in need of care and protection and that's the overriding need for the court rather than the need to penalise," she said.

Ms Young said other sentencing options were open to the court. Confining the girl in the South Island would take her too far away from her family and child and she did not want to go.

Child, Youth and Family officials had earlier said the girl was out of control after she had been in CYF custody from February until May.

The girl had been living in a secure CYF residential facility, where she received ongoing counselling and support to deal with alcohol and drug abuse.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE