A professional freestyle skier caught drink-driving has been discharged without conviction after his defence counsel argued a conviction would destroy his dream of competing at the Winter Olympic Games.
Nicolas George Rapley, 20, of Wanaka, was disqualified for seven months and ordered to pay $600 prosecution costs and $130 court costs.
Sergeant Ian Collin said Rapley was stopped by a police patrol in Mt Iron Dr in Wanaka about two minutes after leaving a drinking establishment, and recorded a breath alcohol level of 826mcg.
Counsel David Robinson said a conviction would create the "substantial risk" his client would be prevented from entering Canada. That meant he would not be able to take part in training camps and qualifying events for the Olympics.
His dream of competing on the international free-skiing circuit would be "severely impacted".
"It takes away a career choice," he said.
The experience had a been a "wake-up call" for his client and the likelihood of further offending was extremely low.
Judge Phillips said Rapley had been following his passion of free-skiing for about five years, and a conviction would be out of all proportion to the gravity of the offending.
"I note his age and note that if he doesn't go to training camps [in Canada], he would never be able to go to the Olympics in my view."