A Gatineau man appeared in court Tuesday after allegedly driving students while he had a blood-alcohol level almost four times the legal limit.

Gatineau police said they were called about an apparent drunk driver at St. Paul elementary school in the Hull sector around 3:19 p.m. Monday.

They said people who saw the state of the driver took children out of the van-type vehicle he was driving and made sure he stayed on scene until police arrived.

Police said he failed a test at the school, was arrested and taken to a nearby police station for a breathalyzer, which showed a blood-alcohol level almost four times the legal limit of 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

Gatineau police said the 47-year-old man was driving with an invalid license and had been charged for driving while impaired in 2009.

He was formally charged with impaired driving and was released with several conditions, including that he refrain from consuming any drugs or alcohol. He is expected to return to court in June.