Get tough on drink driving says IAM poll

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Eighty per cent of motorists say those who repeatedly drink drive should have their vehicles seized and sold or scrapped, according to a poll by the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists)1.

Not only do the majority want a lower limit – they also want tougher punishment for the worst offenders who present the greatest danger to other road users, their passengers and themselves.

Eighty per cent of motorists say those who repeatedly drink drive should have their vehicles seized and sold or scrapped, according to a poll by the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists)1. Fifty per cent think that this should also happen to drivers several times over the limit.

The respondents were also behind reducing the drink-drive limit. Sixty-six per cent want to see the limit reduced, with most of these saying it should be lowered to a maximum of 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. Twenty-eight per cent think we should have a zero-tolerance policy.

People convicted of drink driving generally lose their licence for a year and receive an average fine of £240. Fifty-seven per cent think this is too weak, and that punishments for drink drivers should be tougher – thirty-eight per cent much tougher.

Other findings include:

  •     Fifty-five per cent of poll respondents support a proportionate, graduated system of penalties, if the limit was reduced. For example, lower penalties would be given to drivers caught under the current limit, but above the new one.
  •     Almost half of respondents admit to having a drink while driving, within the current limit.
  •     Seventy-nine per cent say a decrease in the limit wouldn’t affect their enjoyment of an evening out. Nineteen per cent said it would.
  •     Eighty four per cent said a reduction in the limit wouldn’t change their plans to go out.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “The support is there for tougher treatment of drink drivers.

“Not only do the majority want a lower limit – they also want tougher punishment for those that break the law, especially the worst offenders who present the greatest danger to other road users, their passengers and themselves.

“Our poll shows a desire to see more effective drink drive levels as well as much greater consistency of enforcement, prosecution, and sentencing, which reflects the level of danger associated with drinking drivers.”

Notes to editors:        
1.    These results come from an online poll on the IAM’s website. The poll was conducted in July 2012 and received 2,114 responses.
2.    Scotland and Northern Ireland are both consulting on reducing the drink drive limit to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.
3.    The IAM is the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, dedicated to improving standards and safety in driving, motorcycling and cycling. The commercial division of the IAM operates through its occupational driver training company IAM Drive & Survive. The IAM has more than 200 local volunteer groups and over 100,000 members in the UK and Ireland. It is best known for the advanced driving test and the advanced driving, motorcycling and cycling courses. Its policy and research division offers advice and expertise on road safety.

Media contacts:
IAM Press Office – 020 8996 9777
press.office (at) iam.org.uk
ISDN broadcast lines available
iam.org.uk

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Caroline Holmes - Communications officer
IAM
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Ben Schofield - Communications manager
IAM
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