And half of those surveyed think that it should also happen to drivers several times over the limit.
The respondents were also behind reducing the drink-drive limit. A total of 66% 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, down from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. Additionally, 28% think there should be a zero-tolerance policy.
The poll was conducted asScotlandandNorthern Irelandare both consulting on reducing the drink-drive limit to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.
People convicted of drink driving generally lose their licence for a year and receive an average fine of £240. But 57% think fines are too weak, and that punishments for drink-drivers should be tougher – 38% much tougher.
Other findings include from an online poll on the IAM’s website which received 2,114 responses include:
- 55% 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.
- 79% say a decrease in the limit wouldn’t affect their enjoyment of an evening out but 19% said it would.
- 84% 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.’