AAA offers free rides on St. Patrick’s Day

AAA will offer free rides to Northern California drivers from 6 p.m. Thursday through 6 a.m. Friday during St Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Drivers can call 800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP) and say, “I need a Tipsy Tow,” for a free tow of up to 10 miles, said Cynthia Harris, spokeswoman for AAA Northern California.

The service will provide a one-way ride for the driver and vehicle to the driver’s home, Harris said. Additional passengers will be taken to the driver’s home if there is enough room for them to be taken safely in the tow truck. Reservations cannot be made.

“Many people enjoy getting into the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, which tends to involve plenty of celebrating,” Harris said. “If you’ve been drinking alcohol, don’t get behind the wheel. Give AAA a call and we’ll make sure you get home safely.”

Last year, the California Highway Patrol made more than 120 arrests statewide for DUIs and a total of 64,335 arrests for the entire year, Harris said.

According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DUI-related crashes account for about 36 percent of highway deaths nationwide of young people age 16 to 24 per year, Harris said. The rate of drunk driving is highest among 26- to 29-year-olds.

NHTSA reported 867 California highway deaths in 2013, of which 29 percent were due to illegal alcohol levels.

Paul Schlesinger: 559-441-6659, @PaulSch_Photog