Countless lives have been lost over the years due to partygoers driving while drunk. Holiday weekends are especially perilous, but now there’s AAA Tipsy Tow!
Everyone has heard the slogan, “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk”, but sadly many times, they do. This summer there will be parties during the Memorial Day and 4th of July holidays. It’s important to plan ahead and drink responsibly to avoid an alcohol related driving accident.
Drunk Driving Statistics
The Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD) website provides the following 2016 statistics:
- An estimated 12,998 people were killed in alcohol-impaired auto accidents
- Someone is killed by a drunk driver every 40 minutes
- 50% to 75% of drunk drivers with suspended licenses continue to drive
- The average 2015 arrest statistics equate to 1 arrest for every 139 licensed drivers
- 3 in 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol related accident
- A first time offender caught for drunk driving has driven an average of 87 times prior to being arrested.
- The US Surgeon General estimates 5,000 people under 21 die from alcohol related driving incidents each year.
- A first time DUI conviction can cost a driver over $10,000 in fines, penalties, insurance, etc
Alternatives to Driving While Drunk
Almost everyone is aware of the right things to do when alcohol is involved.
- Plan ahead and assign a designated driver.
- Hand the keys over to a sober friend.
- Don’t let a friend drive drunk.
- Call a taxi.
- Bottom line, DON’T DRIVE
If drinking gets out of hand during a holiday weekend without a plan, a new option is the “Tipsy Tow”. By using the Tipsy Tow, someone who has been drinking can get help getting home safely, bringing the car along in tow.
AAA Roadside Assistance Offers Tipsy Tow
AAA Roadside Service offers the Tipsy Tow service free, without membership, on most holidays. The offer varies state to state, but in general, someone who has been drinking contacts AAA and tells the service rep that they need a “tipsy tow”. To check whether the service is available in a particular region on a specific holiday weekend, dial 1-800-AAA HELP (1-800-222-4357).
The AAA News & Safety newsletter gives information about the program when opened in the Phoenix, Arizona area for the summer. The article “AAA Arizona Launches “Tipsy Tow” Program says, “If you have too much to drink during a holiday weekend, call AAA and you and your vehicle will be towed home for free.”
The program is open to everyone. Drivers, Party Hosts, Bartenders and Restaurant Managers can contact AAA to arrange for a free tow to the drinker’s home if within ten miles of pickup. This service is limited to two people max per vehicle.
AAA states in their Newsletter article, “Annually, AAA’s Emergency Road Service responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on the streets and highways of the state as well as providing insurance, travel, and financial services to AAA members and motorists.”
Other Tipsy Tow Services
In addition to AAA, other Roadside Assistance Servicers have offered the Tipsy Tow. During 2015s New Year’s Eve, Automobile Club of Southern California and Betterworldclub offered it. Even Bill’s Towing and Recovery Service in Yelm, Washington offered it for last year’s New Year Celebration!
This summer, everyone should make plans and use their head before they begin the party, but when the plan goes off course, use an alternative to driving drunk. Tipsy Tow Service is just one more way to prevent a fun holiday from ending in tragedy.