Lawnmowers, mopeds, bicycles and horses. What do these all have in common? They’re all “vehicles” that people have used to get around town, usually while intoxicated, even after multiple DWI convictions. Recently a man with five Missouri DWI convictions took a ride on his trusty John Deere and ended up making a big mess of things. We may joke about these headlines a bit, but serious damage can happen when an intoxicated person is driving any kind of vehicle, even a lawnmower.
Normally, we’d point out that with that many Missouri DWI convictions, there are consequences to face. Like prison time, a substance abuse evaluation and treatment program, and of course, an ignition interlock requirement. Unfortunately, ignition interlock devices for lawnmowers aren’t quite as in demand as the variety for cars, trucks or SUVs. Nor are they mandated by any court across the U.S. for use on a lawnmower, tractor or any other such equipment. Most of the time, DWI offenders realize the error of their ways and get on the road to recovery in an everyday vehicle with an interlock installed. For those with multiple drunk driving offenses, the struggle can be much more difficult, often resulting in a lawnmower DWI.. at best.
Obviously, there’s a reason these types of DWI problems keep happening, whether on a lawnmower, horse or any type of vehicle. Missouri isn’t the only state that has yet to secure an all-offender ignition interlock policy, but the research shows that in states that mandate interlocks for all DWIs there are fewer repeat offenses. If the goal is to stop repeat offenses before they get out of hand, then perhaps a stronger approach to ending Missouri DWI offenses is to get those interlocks on those everyday vehicles before more lawnmowers become part of the risks on the roads.