A three-year-old caught behind the wheel of a car was sitting in the lap of his mother, who was tested at more than three times the legal alcohol limit.
The toddler was unbuckled and driving down the main street of Ngaruawahia on Sunday afternoon, police say.
The mother was reportedly unfazed when questioned by police, who were stunned at her lack of judgement.
Officers noticed the car when it swerved across the median line and into the path of an oncoming police car.
The woman, a 31-year-old from Ngaruawahia, had her son perched on her knees, grasping the wheel.
"When she was picked up she didn't display any concern for her son's welfare," Waikato police western area commander Naila Hassan told Fairfax.
"He was on her lap, on the road with her drunk."
The woman was tested at nearly four times the legal driving limit and had a group of teenagers riding with her in the backseat.
But this wasn't the first time she had been intoxicated behind the wheel; the woman had already lost her licence after two previous drink driving offences.
She was given a 28-day loss of licence at the scene.
"This [was] 5pm on a Sunday - a high-risk time, in a high-risk location with a three-year-old on her lap," says Ms Hassan.
"We could have lost a little kiddie.
"It is just shocking, irresponsible behaviour that puts everyone's lives at risk on the road."
She says it is lucky the police car was in the "right place at the right time".
"It's just disappointing that there are still people out there on the roads making such poor decisions. Some people just don't get it."
Police say it is important to remember that even small amounts of alcohol can affect your driving. They also say it is the driver's responsibility to ensure that all passengers under the age of 15 are appropriately restrained.