Its top speed is 12kmh - and it's probably less dangerous than an electric scooter.

But the motorised chilly bin a Cromwell man took for a spin after a few drinks last year has netted him a conviction and a $700 fine.

Daniel William Hurley, 24, was charged with drink-driving after his joyride in Cromwell on October 20.

Hurley had been drinking with friends and had a breath-alcohol reading of 540mcg when he rode the motorised chilly bin in a car park outside a Cromwell bar. The legal limit is 250mcg.

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But his escapade was noticed by a passing police patrol car and discussions over whether the motorised chilly bin would be termed a motor vehicle under the Land Transport Act began.

The answer was yes, but Judge Michael Turner conceded in the Alexandra District Court yesterday Hurley's offending had been ''at the lower end of the spectrum'', and a Lime scooter was ''probably more dangerous''.

The top speed of the motorised chilly bin was only 12kmh, whereas a Lime scooter could go almost 30kmh but was not classified as a motor vehicle, the court heard.

Judge Turner found there were special legal reasons why Hurley did not have to be disqualified for his offending, but convicted him and fined him $700 and court costs $130.

There had been only two other cases in New Zealand of a person being convicted of drink-driving on a motorised chilly bin, Judge Turner said.

Both had also avoided disqualification.