If you’re a driver who has too much to drink at a Fourth of July barbecue, or you’re a party host, restaurant or bar owner who’s concerned about a guest who’s overindulged and want to make sure that person gets home safely, AAA Texas is offering members and non-members alike our Tipsy Tow program. It’s a program designed to make sure everyone who needs a ride home during the holiday gets home safely.
The community service is available from 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3 through midnight on Wednesday, July 4, to help remove drinking drivers from the road. The number to call for assistance is 1-800-222-4357.
“AAA Texas is pleased to offer Tipsy Tow to Texas motorists during the Fourth of July weekend. Law enforcement, individual motorists, party hosts and others are taking responsibility to make sure intoxicated drivers don’t get behind the wheel. AAA’s Emergency Roadside Service team will be a critical part of this important effort to save lives and get motorists home safely,” said Linda K. von Quintus, AAA Vice President of Government & Community Affairs.
Callers simply tell the AAA Texas operators, “I need a Tipsy Tow,” to receive the free tow and ride home. AAA Texas will dispatch an Emergency Roadside Service truck to the location and take the driver and vehicle 10 miles free of charge. Any mileage beyond 10 miles will be the responsibility of the motorist. The passenger and tow truck driver should agree in advance what the excess mileage charges will be and the method of payment, prior to providing the tow.
Many motorists who have had too much to drink have said one of the reasons they don’t call a taxi is because they have to come back the next day to get their car. AAA Texas’ free Tipsy Tow service is unique in that it transports both the driver and their vehicle. You do not have to be an AAA member to use this free service, however reservations are not accepted.
There are some situations that don’t qualify for a Tipsy Tow:
• If the motorist requests a tow to another drinking establishment, repair facility or any other location besides their residence. A tow to a hotel would be acceptable if the person is a guest there.
• If the vehicle is inoperable.
• If a member or non-member requests a Tipsy Tow and then asks for a car start or asks for additional services like a tire change, gas delivery, “taxi” service, or to transport two or more people with the vehicle. In those cases the customer will be charged the standard towing rate.
People convicted of driving under the influence could lose many of the important things in their lives, such as family, job, dignity and money. A Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI) conviction can be a financial wrecking ball. The Texas Department of Transportation and other law enforcement agencies say it can cost a person between $13,000 to $24,000 in fines, legal fees, higher insurance rates, lost wages, substance abuse programs or court required alcohol treatment.
AAA Texas advises motorists keep themselves and others safe by avoiding DWI/DUI arrests and remember these other tips:
• At social events, designate non-drinking drivers who can get everyone home safely.
• Call a friend or family member for a ride home if you have been drinking.
• Keep a cab company telephone number in your wallet so you can call for a ride home.
• As a party host, offer a variety of non-alcoholic drink alternatives and provide a gift to guests who volunteer to be designated drivers.
• Take the car keys away from friends and relatives who have had too much to drink.
• If you’re driving and see a motorist driving in an erratic manner, try to stay behind their vehicle, leaving plenty of distance to be safe. Call 9-1-1 and give police a description of the vehicle and license plate if you can safely see it.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com. Follow AAA Texas on Twitter at: @AAATexas.