Drunk driving: The special effects

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 DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE: Drinking and driving is incredibly irresponsible and a conviction could see you lose your job as well as limit future employment prospects. Image: SHUTTERSTOCK ~ Shutterstock
Here's a sobering thought as you head off to the office party - or other alcohol-fuelled celebrations - over the next few weeks. Drinking and driving could cost you your job.

Which means, possibly, your house, your children's education, that overseas holiday you and your spouse had been dreaming of - and, consequently, perhaps your spouse.


A UK survey has shown that almost a third of that island's population would have to give up their job if they lost their driving licence because they relied on a vehicle for their job.

The figures for South Africa might differ but the potential for a lost job is the same: drink, drive, get caught, big fine, lose licence.

Millions of workers risk losing their jobs or face difficulty getting work if they drink and drive over the holiday season, the UK government’s latest THINK! drinking and driving campaign has revealed in December 2013.

The campaign highlights the snowball effect a drunk-driving conviction can have on future job prospects. A million people in the UK stand to lose their job as a result of a drunk-driving conviction, while a survey has shown that almost a third (27%) of respondents would have to give up their job because they rely on a car to get to work.

A third of respondents said not being able to drive limited their choice of job while 47% said their social lives had been affected because they were unable to visit family or friends.

People who drive as part of their job are particularly vulnerable but someone with a conviction could also be denied access to millions of jobs which involve criminal-record checks - professional drivers, teachers, care workers and jobs in banks and finance.


Any employer can ask to view criminal convictions and research shows that 75% of employers admit to that criminal records are considered during recruitment.

Automobile Association president Edmund King said: “Drink-drive convictions have dramatic and traumatic snowball effects. A third of people will lose their job and experience years of hiked insurance premiums. A snowball might melt away quickly whilst 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.”

Head of Drink Driver Education Roger Singer said: “I help hundreds of drink drivers every year, and they all say the impact of their conviction is much more severe and far-reaching than they imagined.

“Everybody I meet has been given at least a 12-month driving ban. For many this meant instant dismissal from their job, for some it meant resigning because they couldn’t get to work. Many haven’t applied for future roles they want because of the conviction and have got stuck in careers they hate.”

What's the legal alcohol limit? What will happen if you're caught? Click here to find out more about drinking and driving laws in SA.