A Raetihi man who had been on the wagon for 10 years had a few drinks for Dutch courage before heading off to his Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in Wanganui.

But when he got to the meeting he was consumed with guilt and confessed to the group he had been drinking and driving.

The police were called and he was found to have a breath alcohol level of 661 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. The legal limit is 400mcg.

However, it was the 13th drink-driving charge for Jan Marshal Davis, 53.

Davis was yesterday sentenced by Judge John Clapham in the Wanganui District Court to six weeks' jail and disqualified from driving for one year and one day.

Police prosecutor Stephen Butler said it was in the interests of public safety that a term of imprisonment was imposed.

"Seventy per cent of people killed on the road have drugs or alcohol in their system," Mr Butler said.

Defence lawyer Raukawa Simons said that, despite it being Davis' 13th conviction, it had been 10 years since his last offence.

She said imprisonment was not ideal because Davis was fearful of the prison environment and potential lack of support.

"He is a sick man, sir," Ms Simons said. "But he has had a period of abstinence."

She said Davis was attending meetings regularly and taking his medication.

Ms Simons proposed a term of intensive supervision.

Judge Clapham said Davis won points for what he had done so far. "The past 10 years is a silent testimonial to your successful attempts.

"But as all those with an addiction to alcohol would know it just takes one mistake to create the situation which has brought you back to court."

- APN