Hawaii AAA offers free 'Tipsy Tow' service for New Year's Eve
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - AAA Hawaii is offering its free Tipsy Tow service during the New Year's holiday. The service is available from 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, until 6 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1. Tipsy Tow is available in the areas served by AAA Hawaii.
Motorists, bartenders, restaurant managers, party hosts or passengers of a drinking driver may call 1-800-222-4357 for a free tow home of up to five miles. Callers simply tell the AAA operators, "I need a Tipsy Tow," to receive the free tow and ride home. A regular AAA Hawaii-contracted roadside assistance service truck will be dispatched. Tipsy Tow is unique in that it provides a driver with a safe ride home for themselves and their vehicle instead of driving while intoxicated.
Callers need to keep in mind that the service excludes rides for passengers, is restricted to a one-way, one-time ride for the driver and the destination is limited to the driver's residence. Reservations are not accepted. Drivers can expect to pay the rate charged by the tow truck contractor for rides farther than five miles.
"We want motorists to be aware of the high crash risk from drinking and driving associated with the holiday and encourage them to think twice about getting behind the wheel if they have been drinking," said AAA Hawaii's General Manager Liane Sumida.
In 2012, crashes involving drunken drivers claimed 10,322 lives, compared with 9,865 in 2011, National Highway Transportation Safety Administration findings show.
New Year's Eve is a traditional time for home parties, as well as outings to restaurants and bars, and other excursions. These activities contribute to a relaxed atmosphere and more drinking, according to Sumida.
"It takes only one or two drinks to slow physical and mental skills and affect vision, steering, braking, judgment and reaction time," Sumida said. "Drivers should be aware that the law enforcement agencies are likely to be using extra patrols to look for drinking drivers during the holiday."
Drinking drivers frequently don't plan for other ways to get home because they are concerned about retrieving their vehicle. They cite the expense of taxis and time inconvenience as the major reasons they don't use alternative transportation, according to AAA Hawaii.