Don’t Drop the Ball This New Year’s Eve
AAA offers Dec. 31 Tipsy Tow service
Phoenix, Dec. 30, 2013. Starting your New Year’s resolutions shouldn’t begin in a jail cell, which is why AAA wants you to plan for a safe way home.
“New Year’s Eve is the pinnacle of drinking holidays,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs for AAA Arizona. “As a leader in driver safety, AAA urges drivers to plan for a safe ride home before ringing in the New Year. If your safe plans fall through, call AAA for a Tipsy Tow.”
One in five of all licensed drivers that drink at least occasionally reported having driven when they thought their alcohol level might have been close to, or possibly over, the legal limit in the past year, according to the latest data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index. The survey also reveals that 96 percent of drivers consider impaired driving to be unacceptable, with 50 percent reporting that drunk drivers are a bigger problem today versus three years ago.
“Despite the omnipresent warnings about drinking and driving, alcohol-related crashes still represent one in three motor vehicle deaths,” Gorman said.
Alcohol-related crashes are up across the board, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A recent NHTSA report revealed that nationally, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities are up 4.4 percent. That number is even higher in Arizona, where alcohol-related fatalities are up 7.1 percent.
AAA Tips for a Safe New Year’s Eve
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 your ride falls through, call a cab, or use AAA’s Tipsy Tow as a transportation alternative.
- Buckle up — it’s your best defense against impaired drivers.
AAA’s Tipsy Tow service will start at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, and will run through 6 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1. Drivers, passengers, party hosts, bartenders and/or restaurant managers should:
- Call 1-800-AAA-HELP (1-800-222-4357) between 6 p.m. Dec. 31 and 6 a.m. Jan. 1.
- State that they need a “Tipsy Tow.”
- Provide the driver’s name, home address, phone number and vehicle/driver location.
Tipsy Tow provides a free 10-mile tow and ride home. For mileage beyond this, motorists are charged a standard towing rate. The service does not include roadside assistance.
One alcohol-related death occurs every 45 minutes in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drunk drivers contribute to one in three traffic deaths. AAA challenges drivers to pledge to drive drug and alcohol-free.
AAA is a leader in driver safety. For more information, visit AAA.com/TipsyTow.
More than 27,000 DUI arrests were made in Arizona in 2012, 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 provides automotive, insurance and auto travel services to more than 850,000 Arizona members. AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on Arizona roadways annually. Since 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.