AAA: Drive Home Sober from Memorial Day Gatherings

Phoenix, Ariz., May 23, 2012. For many, Memorial Day weekend will include gatherings where alcohol will be served. As such, AAA is encouraging Arizonans to be responsible and offering its Tipsy Tow service over the holiday weekend. 

“Memorial Day gatherings that involve alcohol can become very dangerous when driving is involved,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs for AAA Arizona. “If you plan to drink, make arrangements to avoid driving. Impaired driving puts all road users at risk.” 

AAA Tips for a Safe Memorial Day

Be a responsible host:

  • Offer food and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Make sure all of your guests have a designated driver. 
  • Keep the numbers for local cab companies, as well as AAA’s Tipsy Tow handy.
  • Take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving while impaired.

Be a responsible partygoer:

  • If you plan to drive, don’t drink.
  • If you plan to drink, select a designated driver and give them your car keys. If you ride falls through, call a cab, or utilize AAA’s Tipsy Tow as a transportation alternative.
  • Buckle up—it’s your best defense against other impaired drivers.

Tipsy Tow service will begin 6 p.m., Sunday, May 27, and run through 6 a.m., Monday, May 28. Drivers, passengers, party hosts, bartenders and/or restaurant managers in need of a Tipsy Tow can call 1-800-AAA-HELP (1-800-222-4357).They will simply need to state that they need a Tipsy Tow and provide the driver’s name, home address, phone number and vehicle/driver location. 

Tipsy Tow provides a one-way ride for the driver, one passenger and their vehicle at no cost for up to 10 miles. Services will not be provided to motorists requesting a tow to another drinking establishment or to a destination other than their home. Other services that will not be provided include: requests for a vehicle start, flat tire change and/or fuel delivery. For trips longer than 10 miles, motorists can expect to be charged the towing company’s standard rate.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one alcohol-impaired death occurs every 45 minutes across the country, with alcohol impaired drivers contributing to one out of every three traffic deaths. As a result, AAA is challenging drivers to pledge to drive drug and alcohol-free.

More than 27,000 DUI arrests were made in Arizona in 2011, according to the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety.  AAA estimates that a first-time DUI conviction can cost a motorist more than $10,000 in fines, penalties, legal fees and increased insurance costs.

AAA Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and auto travel services to more than 825,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on Arizona roadways. The auto club also provides insurance, travel, auto repair, discounts and financial services to AAA members. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.