Don't Let July 4th Celebrations Turn Tragic

AAA ‘Tipsy Tow’ Program Helps Prevent Drunk Driving

Media Contact: Cynthia Harris

Emeryville, CA, July 3, 2014

As the nation’s biggest celebration, Independence Day is commemorated across the country with neighborhood parades, barbecues, family gatherings and the consumption of alcohol. If excessive alcohol consumption becomes part of the festivities, AAA Northern California will take you and your car home for free.

The AAA Tipsy Tow program is open to everyone. You do not need to be a AAA member to take advantage of this service to the community.

AAA will offer the service to drinking drivers from 6 p.m. on July 4 to 6 a.m. on July 5 in Northern California, Nevada and Utah. Drivers, potential passengers, party hosts, bartenders and restaurant managers can call 800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP) for a free tow home of up to 10 miles. Just tell the AAA operator, “I need a Tipsy Tow,” and a truck will be on its way.

The service will provide a one-way ride for the driver and vehicle to the driver’s home. If there are additional passengers who need a ride, they will be taken to the driver’s home as long as there is sufficient room for them to be transported safely in the tow truck. You cannot make a reservation for this service.

According to 2012 statistics from the California Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 802 drunk-driving fatalities involving drivers with blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08. This represents 28% of all traffic deaths that year. As little as one drink can impair vision, steering, braking, judgment and reaction time.

Nationally, over 1.2 million drivers were arrested in 2012 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. This is an arrest rate of one for every 165 licensed drivers in the U.S.

AAA estimates that a first-time DUI conviction in California can cost up to $12,000 in fines, penalties, restitution, legal fees and added insurance expenses. You can’t put a price tag on a crash that causes an injury or death.

“Many people enjoy getting into the spirit of The Fourth of July, which tends to involve plenty of celebrating,” said Buck Lucas, VP Automotive Services, AAA Northern California. “If you’ve been drinking alcohol, don’t get behind the wheel. Give AAA a call and we’ll make sure you get home safely.”

AAA Northern California offers a wide array of automotive, travel, insurance, DMV, financial services and consumer discounts to more than 4.1 million members. AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers since it was founded more than 114 years ago.

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