(Coppell, TX) – AAA Texas encourages everyone, who is of legal drinking age and who plans to have alcoholic beverages to celebrate the New Year, to designate a sober driver, call for a cab or city approved ride sharing service, or plan an overnight stay before having their first drink. As a last resort, AAA Texas will offer a free community service called Tipsy Tow which aims to keep drinking drivers off the road. The service will be available from 6 p.m. on Sat., December 31 2016 through 6:00 a.m. on Sun., January 1, 2017.
Drivers, bartenders, restaurant managers, party hosts or passengers of a drinking driver may call 1-800-222-4357 or 1-800-AAA-HELP for a free tow home of up to 10 miles. Callers simply request a Tipsy Tow and will receive the free tow and ride home. A regular AAA Texas-contracted roadside service truck will be dispatched. For rides farther than 10 miles, drivers should expect to pay the rate charged by the tow truck contractor. The passenger and tow truck driver should agree in advance what the excess mileage charges will be and the method of payment, prior to the tow.
You do not have to be a AAA member to use the Tipsy Tow service however it is only for a one-way, one-time ride for a driver and tow for that driver’s vehicle. Please keep in mind the following situations do not qualify for a Tipsy Tow:
- A request to tow an inoperable vehicle.
- A request to tow to another drinking establishment, repair facility or any other location other than the driver’s home or hotel where they are a registered guest.
- A request to start a vehicle, change a flat tire or deliver gas.
- A request for a “taxi” service or to transport anyone other than the driver of the vehicle.
According to Texas Department of Transportation, during the 2015-2016 Christmas Holiday Season (Dec. 1, 2015 to Jan. 1, 2016), there were 2,374 hundred alcohol-related traffic crashes in Texas, resulting in 102 fatalities and 205 serious injuries.
“New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate a new beginning but we must not forget to celebrate wisely,” said Linda von Quintus, AAA Vice President of Government & Community Affairs. “Tragedies as a result of drinking and driving are entirely preventable if you plan ahead before you celebrate with family and friends. As a last resort, AAA Texas will again offer Tipsy Tow this New Year’s Eve so intoxicated drivers don’t kill or injure themselves or others.”
In addition, AAA Texas offers the following reminders to keep yourself and others safe and prevent drunk driving arrests this New Year’s Eve.
- At social events, designate non-drinking drivers who can get everyone home safely.
- Do not serve alcohol to anyone under age 21.
- Call a friend or family member for a ride home if you’ve been drinking.
- Never ride as a passenger in a car driven by someone who has been drinking alcohol – even after just one drink.
- Keep a cab company telephone number in your wallet so you can call for a ride home.
- As a party host and good friend or loving family member, offer a variety of non-alcoholic drink alternatives, serve food as well as dessert and coffee, and provide a gift to guests who volunteer to be designated drivers.
- Have a back-up plan to spend the night at the party instead of driving home under the influence.
- Take the car keys away from friends and relatives who have had too much to drink.
- If you encounter an impaired driver on the road, keep a safe distance and ask a passenger to call 911 (or pull over to a safe location to make the call yourself).
- Remember: prescription, over-the-counter medications and illegal drugs also can impair your ability to drive safely.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 56 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.