As you finalize your New Year's Eve plans, AAA Texas urges those who will celebrate with family and friends to plan for a safe evening ahead of time.
If you plan to drink, plan not to drive.
Drivers should designate a non-drinking driver, call for a cab, or plan for an overnight stay wherever they go to ring in 2014.
As a last resort, AAA Texas is offering its free Tipsy Tow program on New Year's Eve to prevent drunk drivers from being on the road.
AAA Texas Tipsy Tow will be available from 6 p.m. Tuesday through 6 a.m. Wednesday.
Motorists or passengers of a drinking driver may call 1-800-222-4357 or 1-800-AAA-HELP for a free tow home of up to 10 miles.
Callers should simply tell AAA Texas operators, “I need a Tipsy Tow,” to receive the free tow and ride home.
A regular AAA Texas-contracted roadside service truck will be sent out.
Drivers can expect to pay the rate charged by the tow truck contractor for rides farther than 10 miles.
Callers need to keep in mind the service excludes rides for passengers, is restricted to a one-way, one-time ride for the
“Far too often, we hear about people being killed or permanently injured as a result of drunk or buzzed driving and it is entirely preventable,” said Linda von Quintus, AAA Vice President of Government & Community Affairs. “We urge people never to drink and drive and help prevent their friends and family from getting behind the wheel intoxicated. As a last resort, AAA Texas will offer Tipsy Tow to make sure intoxicated drivers don’t hurt themselves or others - but instead, get home safely.”
AAA Texas offers these additional DWI prevention tips:
- At social events, designate non-drinking drivers who can get everyone home safely.
- Do not serve alcohol to anyone under age 21.
- Call a friend or family member for a ride home if you’ve been drinking.
- Never ride as a passenger in a car driven by someone who has been drinking alcohol - even after just one drink.
- Keep a cab company telephone number in your wallet so you can call for a ride home.
- As a party host and good friend or loving family member, offer a variety of non-alcoholic drink alternatives, serve food as well as dessert and coffee, and provide a gift to guests who volunteer to be designated drivers.
- Have a back up plan to spend the night at the party instead of driving home under the influence.
- Take the car keys away from friends and relatives who have had too much to drink.
- If you encounter an impaired driver on the road, keep a safe distance and ask a passenger to call 911 (or pull over to a safe location to make the call yourself).
- Remember: prescription, over-the-counter medications and illegal drugs also can impair your ability to drive safely.