Raoul Jay Asare-Bediako had just been busted trying to drive with a breath alcohol reading of three times the limit, but that didn't stop him from driving less than a week later with an even higher level.
Asare-Bediako appeared in the Wellington District Court this afternoon for sentencing on four charges, including driving with breath alcohol readings of 1200mcg and 1470mcg.
Anyone driving at a limit over 400mcg faces criminal convictions.
The first incident arose on April 23, when the 38-year-old Wellington man was drunkenly trying to drive out of a carpark, but instead hit the corner of another car.
"Members of the public had called police because of his manner of driving," Judge Noel Sainsbury said in court today.
A breath test revealed the 1200mcg reading on Asare-Bediako's breath. He was charged with driving with excess breath alcohol and careless driving.
Less than a week later, on April 28, Asare-Bediako was stopped at a breath testing checkpoint where he blew the 1470mcg result.
He had been suspended from driving after the first incident, so was driving in breach of the suspension, the judge said.
It's in his interests and frankly everyone's interests that the defendant become alcohol free.
He was charged again with driving with excess breath alcohol, and driving while suspended.
"Prior to being in court today he's had no previous convictions, however it's clear from the breath alcohol readings that there is a serious alcohol issue at play."
Asare-Bediako used the alcohol as a coping mechanism to deal with his marriage breaking down, his lawyer said.
Despite the "prodigiously high" alcohol readings, Asare-Bediako avoided prison.
"Given the magnitude of these readings and the fact that they occurred so close together, the defendant, on the face of it, is in peril of a custodial sentence, even without any previous history," Judge Sainsbury said.
"What makes it appropriate not to follow that path, but rather to follow the recommendation in the pre-sentence report of supervision and community detention, is the fact that he is endeavouring to deal with the alcohol issue.
"It's in his interests and frankly everyone's interests that the defendant become alcohol free."
He sentenced Asare-Bediako to six months community detention, 12 months supervision, and 12 months disqualification from driving.
"Before you even consider driving again, you need to sort out the alcohol issue," the judge said.
Asare-Bediako is also not allowed to own a vehicle for 12 months.