A Hamilton drink driver who fled police, sparked a chase which left a power pole damaged and now likely faces being charged the cost to replace it.

After being stopped by police just before midnight last night, the 20-year-old driver sped off, leading them on a chase through the Hamilton East district.

Waikato Senior Sergeant Andrew O'Reilly said the young man and sole-occupant of the vehicle then smashed into a power pole in the area of May Street which cut power to local residents for several hours this morning.

"This sort of thing happens quite regularly, people decide they want to avoid being spoken to police and they want to take risks," said Mr O'Reilly.


When police caught up with him, the driver's blood alcohol reading was 454mg -- the legal limit is 250mg. He was subsequently arrested and may now face being charged for the cost of damaging the power pole.

"The power companies don't want to be paying for every power pole that gets damaged from a deliberate act," Mr O'Reilly said.

He estimated the cost of the pole to be about $40,000.

The driver is due to appear in court over the incident.