(Coppell, TX) – When the clock strikes midnight 2015 will be over and a new year will begin. AAA Texas wants to help those who celebrate New Year’s Eve with alcohol to get home safe. AAA Texas encourages everyone, who is of legal drinking age and who plans to have alcoholic beverages to ring in the New Year, to designate a sober driver, make alternate plans for a cab or plan for an overnight stay. As a last resort, AAA Texas will once again offer motorists a free Tipsy Tow during the holiday. The community service that aims to keep drinking drivers off the road is available from 6 p.m. on Thurs., Dec. 31, 2015, through 6:00 a.m. Fri., Jan. 1, 2016.
Motorists, 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.
Tipsy Tow service is only for a one-way, one-time ride for the vehicle driver. Please keep 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.
Many motorists who have had too much to drink say they don’t use alternate transportation because of cab costs or the inconvenience of having to retrieve their car the next day. AAA Texas’ free Tipsy Tow service is unique in that it transports both the driver and their vehicle. You do not have to be a AAA member to use this free service. While AAA Texas offers Tipsy Tow statewide, the service varies from state to state and may not be available outside of Texas.
“We hope everyone who plans to celebrate the New Year with alcohol will make transportation plans before they ever have their first drink,” said Linda von Quintus, AAA Vice President of Government & Community Affairs. “Make sure you, your family, and your friends think about safety first before celebrations and plan ahead. As a last resort, AAA Texas will offer Tipsy Tow so intoxicated people don’t get behind the wheel and don’t hurt themselves or others.”
In addition, AAA Texas offers the following reminders to keep yourself and others safe and prevent DUI arrests this New Year.
- 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 55 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.