AAA will offer free rides to Northern California drivers from 6 p.m. on Thursday through 6 a.m. on Friday during New Year’s Eve celebrations. To use the service, call 800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP) and say, “I need a Tipsy Tow,” for a free tow up to 10 miles.
The driver will be given a ride to their home and their car will be towed for free. Additional passengers will be taken to the driver’s home as long as there is room for them to ride safely in the tow truck. Reservations cannot be made.
“Everybody wants to have fun at a New Year’s party,” said Cynthia Harris, spokesperson for AAA Northern California. “But if you’ve been drinking, don’t get behind the wheel. Give AAA a call and we’ll make sure you get home safely.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes in 2010; equaling one death every 51 minutes.
Nationally, drunk-driving crashes accounted for nearly 36 percent of highway deaths in people ages 16 to 24, according to 2008 statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
First time DUI convictions in California can cost up to $12,000 in fines, penalties, restitution, legal fees, and added insurance expenses.
Previous studies have found that one dose of some cold and allergy medications can have the same effect on driving as being above the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration, according to AAA.
“Just because a doctor prescribes a drug, or you can purchase it over-the-counter, doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe to use while driving,” said Harris. “Always discuss potential side effects and interactions with your doctor or pharmacist before getting behind the wheel.”