An alleged drink-driver towing a large boat on a trailer astounded police when he gave one of the country's highest breath-alcohol readings after being stopped at Woodend.

The 40-year-old allegedly recorded a breath-alcohol level of 1761mcg/l, more than four times the legal limit of 400 and a blood-alcohol reading of 385mg/100ml - almost five times the legal limit of 80.

"That's one of the highest I've ever heard of," Canterbury road policing manager Inspector Al Stewart said. "I'm surprised anyone with that level of alcohol could physically drive a vehicle."

Police said the man was returning to Christchurch with a mate from a fishing trip to Motunau when his boat trailer clipped a parked car as he pulled into the Woodend Tavern. Pub patrons phoned police with concerns about his driving.


The man entered no plea at his first appearance in the Rangiora District Court last week and was remanded at large until March.

Ministry of Justice figures show only nine drivers have recorded higher breath-alcohol levels in the last three years.

- North Canterbury News