A senior policeman who drove drunk has escaped a conviction after a judge said it was more important he stay on the job.

Sergeant Jason Lamont, 39, was nearly one and a half times over the legal alcohol limit when he was pulled over last August.

His reading level was 113mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

He admitted a charge of driving with an excess blood alcohol and pleaded guilty in North Shore District Court in April, the New Zealand Herald reported.

Judge Phil Gittos discharged Mr Lamont without conviction and said his role and experience outweighed the importance of the conviction.

His lawyer Steve Bonnar told the paper the judge took the view it would not be in the public interest for an experienced and well-regarded senior police officer to be out of a job and the public was better served by him staying in the police.

In spite of the discharge Mr Lamont was disqualified from driving for six months and ordered to pay court costs.

Mr Bonnar said his client had misjudged the amount of alcohol he drank before driving.

- NZPA