A Dunedin man who threatened to kill a court staff member will spend the next six months living on a curfew.

Ashley John Haar (23) appeared at the scene of the crime this week - the Dunedin District Court - having admitted the charge and two counts of drink-driving causing injury.

On July 4, the defendant came to the courthouse's customer-service desk to discuss payment of outstanding fines.

After providing documentary information to the staff member at the counter, he was told the case could be put before a judge for consideration of an alternative sentence.

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"You are lucky it's not like Winz and some p*&^% comes in here and blows you away,'' Haar said.

The victim asked him to leave and pressed a panic button to alert security staff.

As Haar walked away he challenged the man to a fight.

Counsel Andrew Dawson said his client was suffering a head injury at the time and the court heard he had been suffering mood swings since the car crash that caused it.

The April 27 smash was Haar's fault.

He had been drinking with friends in town and they were heading home at 2am.

Dawson said the defendant had originally given his car keys to a friend who was to be the designated driver.

That plan was later abandoned and Haar got behind the wheel.

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Driving south in Princes St, they approached the intersection with Carroll St.

Haar failed to negotiate the right-hand turn and crashed into a wall.

His vehicle was extensively damaged, one of the passengers sustained a "large, open scalp laceration'' and the other suffered a fractured vertebra.

The trio were hospitalised and a blood sample was taken from the driver, who admitted drinking two beers and two "Jager rums''.

Haar's blood contained 151mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood - more than three times the legal limit.

Mr Dawson said his client was sorry for what he had put his friends through.

"He has taken this opportunity with a long period on bail to take stock of his life.''

Mr Dawson said Haar had changed his mindset on drinking alcohol during that time as well as having reconsidered his choice of friends.

Judge Bridget Mackintosh sentenced him to six months' community detention, 12 months' intensive supervision and banned him from driving for a year.

She declined the Otago Daily Times' photo application because Haar had issues with anxiety and depression.