The actions of a British man who reversed a milk delivery truck while the driver was in the back were "remarkably stupid'', a judge says.

Luke Raymond Stead, 28, was in central Queenstown at 5.20am on January 8 when he got into the truck while it was parked in a loading bay outside a Camp St convenience store.

Its engine was already running, and he reversed it about 5m.

He was arrested and charged with drink-driving with a breath-alcohol level of 893mcg.


Stead was told by Judge John Brandts-Giesen in the Queenstown District Court yesterday he was lucky he had not driven further.

The offending was made "much worse'' by the truck's driver being in the back arranging stock.

"You could've killed him if you'd driven any distance or at any great speed.

"In Queenstown, far too many people after midnight make a complete fool of themselves.

"At that time you should have been tucked up in bed.''

Stead, who is living in the resort on a working holiday visa, was fined $1000 and disqualified from driving for eight months.