Even For Self-Employed, Missouri DUI Requires Ignition Interlock

Being self-employed means you escape some of life’s hassles. But not ignition interlocks.

Missouri is one of 30 states that require an ignition interlock for all DUI offenders. An ignition interlock, or car breathalyzer, prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking.

Offenders are prohibited from driving a vehicle without an interlock, with one exception: they may drive an employer’s vehicle if required to for the job. This allows those convicted of DUI to keep their employment, which the state deems a good idea. Moreover, it avoids burdening an employer with the responsibility of maintaining a vehicle with an ignition interlock , which could be awkward if the vehicle is shared by a number of employees who will all have to use the device.

A new bill just passed, Senate Bill 225, closes a loophole in the law: self-employed people are no longer allowed to drive their own vehicles without a Missouri ignition interlock device. Neither can a business owner drive a vehicle owned by that business without the device installed.

Why Pick on the Self-Employed?

Some might consider the new law unfair, but it actually makes sense. Self-employment is a sweeping concept that includes everything from Web designers to piano teachers to people who make their living buying on Craigslist and selling on eBay. For many of those people, the distinction between business travel and personal transport is fuzzy. It would be hard to determine if a trip the store to buy lunch was business-related – freelance bloggers have to eat, after all.

Allowing self-employed to avoid the Missouri ignition interlock opens up a can of worms, and it surely results in more repeat DUIs.

The good news is that self-employed people can still work, and drive for work, with a DUI. They just need to install an ignition interlock. Everyone drives, everyone works, everyone gets paid, and the roads are a little safer. That will work fine for Missouri.