A Taupo police constable has lost his appeal against a conviction for drunk driving.

In a reserved decision, Justice Mark Woolford refused to overturn Constable Raymond John Dunbar's conviction, which followed a judge-alone trial.

Dunbar appealed the conviction in the High Court at Rotorua last month on the grounds he had not been given the chance to take a blood test within the required 10-minute period of him returning a breath alcohol reading of 509 micrograms. The legal limit is 400 micrograms.

Defence counsel Bill Lawson argued Dunbar's request for a blood test had been ignored after he had been read his rights in the "booze bus" he'd been taken to after being stopped at a Taupo checkpoint on January 21.

He submitted the sergeant processing Dunbar had been attending to paper work and Dunbar had waited until he lifted his head to repeat his request for a blood test.

Mr Lawson said that the oversight had been due to either a misunderstanding or miscommunication, and argued that Dunbar's conviction be either quashed or remitted back to the district court for further consideration, with the benefit of doubt going to Dunbar.

At a defended hearing in Taupo District Court in April it was claimed Dunbar had asked to be blood tested within the statutory timeframe but this had not been acted on.

However, in his decision Judge Louis Bidois said Dunbar could have asked a second time for a blood test if he thought the sergeant had not heard him the first time.

Evidence was given at the Taupo hearing that Dunbar had pleaded to be "let go" because he lived only four blocks from the Taupo Control Gates checkpoint, saying being charged was more than his job was worth.

The court heard he had been at a Taupo bar with friends, where he had drunk five glasses of beer over a 5-1/2 hour period and eaten bar snacks.

Dunbar had been stopped in the early hours of August 28 last year.

He was fined $600 and disqualified from driving for six months, with Judge Bidois noting Dunbar's police training would have made him aware of the test procedure.

- NZPA