If ringing in the New Year includes alcohol, AAA has a program to guarantee that you make it home safely.
On ten different holiday and special events in 2011, AAA offers a free ten-mile tow home for drinking drivers and their vehicles.
The Tipsy Tow program is open to everyone. You do not need to be an AAA member to take advantage of this service to the community. During the period Tipsy Tow is available, drivers, potential passengers, party hosts, bartenders, and restaurant managers can call 800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP) for a free tow home of up to ten miles. Just tell the AAA operator, “I need a Tipsy Tow,” and a truck will be on its way.
AAA typically offers the service to drinking drivers from 6 p.m. on the holiday to 6 a.m. the following day in northern California, Nevada, and Utah.
The service will provide a one-way ride for the driver and vehicle to the driver’s home. If there are additional passengers who need a ride, they will be taken to the driver’s home as long is there is sufficient room for them to be transported safely in the tow truck. You cannot make a reservation.
According to a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study, 20 percent of all motorists in the past year have driven a motor vehicle within two hours of drinking alcohol. About 13 percent of the total population has done so in the past 30 days. It takes only one or two drinks to impair vision, steering, braking, judgment, and reaction time.
AAA estimates that a first-time DUI conviction can cost up to $12,000 in fines, penalties, restitution, legal fees, and added insurance expenses.