A Dunedin driver more than five times over the breath alcohol limit had an unlikely explanation for a car crash - it was because of a fluffy bunny.

Oleksandr Zhukov, 43, was driving on Cannington Rd at 9pm on April 6 when he said he swerved to avoid a white rabbit.

He drove off the straight road, down a bank and crashed into a tree where a passing motorist spotted him.

Zhukov pleaded guilty to drink-driving and careless driving when he appeared before the Dunedin District Court this morning.


Judge Dominic Flatley was not taken with the defendant's version of events.

"You didn't have an accident because you swerved to avoid an animal. You had an accident because you were intoxicated to a very high level," he said.

Zhukov told police at the time he had drunk a bottle of red wine before driving.

Duty lawyer Louise Garthwaite said the man put the high reading down to the fact he had not had a lot to eat that day.

Again, the judge was not buying it.

"You need to be realistic, you need to be honest," he said.

"You must have drunk much more than you say. It takes a lot of alcohol to get to 1287."

The legal limit is 250mcg of alcohol per litre of breath.


"If you've got a drinking problem, you need to acknowledge it and sort yourself out," Judge Flatley told Zhukov.

It was the defendant's first time before the court and Garthwaite stressed he had been cooperative with police.

Zhukov was fined $1750, ordered to pay court costs $130 and disqualified from driving for nine months.

It was not known if the rabbit was hurt.