The latest THINK! drink drive campaign warns that "millions of people" risk losing their job or face difficulty getting work if they drink and drive this Christmas.
The campaign highlights the snowball effect a drink drive conviction can have on future job prospects.
The DfT estimates that up to one million people work in jobs they could lose as a result of a drink-drive conviction, while in a survey almost a third (27%) of respondents said they would have to give up their job because they rely on a car to get to work.
The THINK! campaign points out that people who drive as part of their job are particularly vulnerable but someone with a conviction could also be denied access to "millions more jobs" which are eligible for criminal records checks. These jobs include professional driving jobs, teachers, care workers and jobs in banks and finance.
Any employer can ask to see unspent criminal convictions and research shows that three-quarters of employers admit to taking a criminal conviction into account during the recruitment process.
Launching the ‘Snowball Effect’ drink drive campaign, Robert Goodwill (pictured), transport minister said: “For many people Christmas is about spending time with friends and family and celebrating, but if drivers have a tipple they should not get behind the wheel.
“Just one drink can put you over the limit and the consequences are devastating – not only will you be cuffed and put in a cell, but if you’re convicted you will lose your licence and, as this research shows, you could even lose your job.”
Edmund King, AA president, added: "Drink drive convictions have dramatic and traumatic snowball effects. One third of people will lose their jobs and experience years of hiked insurance premiums. A snowball might melt away quickly while the effects of a driving ban last way beyond any winter thaw."
Simon Edwards, head of logistics at recruiting firm Manpower, said: “In this highly competitive job market a drink drive conviction puts you at a serious disadvantage. It is very common for a client making a decision between two otherwise equal applicants to favour the individual without a drink drive conviction.
“Every day I see the devastating impact of a conviction on a candidate’s ability to get or retain a job and the limits this puts on future opportunities.”