The "snowball effect" of getting a drink-drive conviction has been highlighted in the Government's latest THINK! campaign.
Millions of people could lose their jobs if they were unable to drive to, or at, work through being caught drinking and driving, the campaign, launched today, shows.
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 Transport Minister Robert Goodwill 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."
AA president Edmund King said: "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. If you are going to drive - don't drink. If you are going to drink - don't drive."