In order to remove drunk drivers from the roadways, AAA is offering a free towing service in Southern California on New Year’s Eve.
According to Marie Montgomery of the Automobile Club of Southern California, the company’s free “Tipsy Tow” service is available Tuesday night across San Diego County, as well as the 13 Southern California counties served by the Auto Club.
The service includes a free tow home of up to seven miles for motorists, available starting at 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve until 6 a.m. on New Year’s Day.
Revelers in need of the service can call AAA and ask for a Tipsy Tow by calling (800) 400-4AAA. From there, a roadside service truck will be dispatched to the caller’s location.
AAA says the New Year’s Eve service is limited to a one-way, one-time ride for the driver to the driver’s home, and excludes rides for passengers. If the ride exceeds seven miles, drivers can expect to pay the rate charged by the tow truck contractor. The service is available to both AAA members and non-members.
AAA says their free service is unique in that it brings both the driver and their vehicle home safely. The company hopes the service helps to curb drunk driving on New Year’s Eve.
According to Auto Club stats, a first offense misdemeanor DUI conviction in California can cost a driver nearly $16,000 or more in fines, penalties, restitution, legal fees and increased insurance costs. That figure has increased by 29 percent over the past few years due to a hike in fines and insurance. The estimated cost of a first offense misdemeanor DUI for someone under the age of 21 is nearly $22,500.
The Tipsy Tow is not a nationwide service but in California, this marks the 17th year in a row that it’s been offered during the New Year’s Eve holiday.
Meanwhile, in an effort to provide safe ride options for revelers, San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit District will offer extended bus and trolley services on New Year’s Eve after the clock strikes midnight, providing additional trips from downtown San Diego.