A drink-driver more than three times over the legal limit drove past Tauranga's busy Harbourside Netball Courts and Blake Park as children played Saturday morning sport before he was arrested.

The Mt Maunganui man returned a breath test reading of 1440mcg and will appear in court this week.

Mount Sports Club's Greg Broughtwood estimated that 1000 children played Saturday morning sport in the area, with 2000 to 3000 people in the vicinity including parents and siblings.