A man who sat in the driver's seat while the car was being pushed three metres was still "exercising control", say police.
Harris James Davis did not even put keys in the ignition, but he was over the legal alcohol driving limit as his friends pushed the car to unblock a driveway.
Davis, who appeared before Judge Ian Mill at Masterton District Court last week, pleaded guilty and received a fine as well as a driving disqualification.
There was a party at Harris' home in March when a party goer left the property taking the keys to their car, which was blocking the driveway.
Harris got behind the steering wheel as two young men pushed the car out of the way; about two to three metres, defence lawyer James Elliott submitted.
"The keys were not in the vehicle ... it is a question of whether he was driving or not," he said.
However, police prosecutor Sergeant Nick Newbery said the keys were irrelevant.
"He was exercising control over the vehicle. He was steering it," he said.
Judge Mill said there were special circumstances but still passed sentence, fining Harris $500 plus $130 court costs and disqualified him from driving for three months.
"The driver was only steering the vehicle being pushed by the lads," he said.
For more articles from this region, go to WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE