Toast to a Safe New Year, says AAA
As 2012 comes to a close, AAA reminds drivers and passengers alike of the dangers on the roads this New Year’s Day, which consistently ranks as the year’s deadliest day for alcohol-related fatalities.
“AAA wants motorists to send off 2012 on a high note by ringing in the New Year safely,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs for AAA Arizona. “Revelers and party hosts alike should have plans or options for their guests to have a safe ride home.”
AAA Tips for a Safe New Year’s:
Be a responsible party goer:
- 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.
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.
Many homeowners are not aware of the liability that comes along with being a party host. Hosts serving alcohol have a legal and moral responsibility to ensure guests get home safely. If an impaired guest drives home from a party, the host could be held liable for damages due to their responsibility in providing alcohol to a drunken driver who is found at fault for a crash.
AAA’s Tipsy Tow service will start at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31, and will run through 6 a.m. Tuesday, 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 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. A tow to a hotel may be allowed if the motorist is a guest or plans to become one.
Other services that will not be provided include: requests for a vehicle start, flat tire change, gas delivery and/or taxi service. For trips longer than 10 miles, motorists will be charged the towing company’s standard rate.
For more information on Tipsy Tow in Arizona, visit AAA.com/TipsyTow.
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 25,100 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, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and 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.