Drunk man allegedly steals car from Auckland car dealership then runs out of fuel on motorway during police chase

The man's breath-alcohol reading was more than 400mcg per litre.
The man's breath-alcohol reading was more than 400mcg per litre. Photo credit: Newshub.

A drunk man who allegedly stole a car from an Auckland dealership and fled police before running out of fuel on the motorway has since been arrested.

It all started on Tuesday at about 7.30pm, when the 36-year-old stole keys and a vehicle from a worker at a car dealer on Great South Rd, Epsom.

He then drove north along the motorway, on State Highway 1.

Senior Sergeant Andrew Hawkins said police used motorway cameras to help track the man north as he drove along the Harbour Bridge.

"We quickly made the decision not to pursue the vehicle, due to its dangerous manner of driving," he said.

The man eventually exited the motorway via the Ōnewa off-ramp, where the Eagle helicopter spotted the car and began tracking it.

He then drove at speed around Northcote and went back to the motorway - but he ran into trouble near Silverdale.

“Eagle observed the vehicle slow down dramatically, and it pulled up on the shoulder of the motorway and stopped. It had run out of fuel,” Hawkins said.

Officers arrested the driver "without further incident", he added.

"We’re pleased that this person is off the road and no longer putting the public in danger," said Hawkins.

The man was due to appear at the North Shore District Court on Wednesday, facing several charges including vehicle theft.

His breath alcohol reading was more than 400mcg per litre. The legal limit for people aged 20 and over is 250mcg.