(S.F. Examiner file photo)

AAA’s ‘Tipsy Tow’ helps drivers get home safely on New Year’s Eve

The American Automobile Association is lending a helping hand to those in need this New Year’s Eve, with free rides home for drivers who’ve been drinking and their vehicles.

The “Tipsy Tow” program will run from 6 p.m. on Dec. 31 to 6 a.m. Jan. 1st across Northern California. Rides will only be given over distances less than ten miles.

If you or a friend needs to tap in to this program on New Year’s Eve, call 800-222-4357 and tell the operator “I need a Tipsy Tow.” AAA is encouraging party hosts, potential passengers, bartenders and restaurant managers to use the number if drivers are not able to.

“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.”

The campaign is well-timed: according to statistics from California Highway Patrol, 27 alcohol-related deaths took place on New Year’s Eve, and more than 920 arrests were made for drivers operating cars under the influence. A first-time DUI conviction in California can be accompanied by up to $12,000 in fines, increased insurance, and legal fees.

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