AAA offers free tow home on New Year’s Eve

Drivers who’ve had a few drinks to celebrate New Year’s Eve are welcome to utilize AAA Northern California’s “Tipsy Tow” program, which will take them, and their car, home for free.

Both AAA members and non-members can use the service, which will begin 6 p.m. New Year’s Eve and run until 6 a.m. New Year’s Day.

For the free tow of up to 10 miles, residents can call (800) 222-4357 and tell the AAA operator “I need a Tipsy Tow” for a truck to be sent their way.

“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.”

Additional passengers who need a ride can be taken to the driver’s home, as long as there is enough room for safe transportation in the tow truck. Reservations are not allowed.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes in 2010.

Nationally, drunk-driving crashes accounted for about 36% of highway deaths for young people ages 16-24 in 2008, from NHTSA statistics.

Estimates indicate a first-time DUI conviction in California can cost up to $12,000 in fines, penalties, restitution, legal fees, and added insurance payments.