An automotive club wants St. Patrick’s Day revelers to get home safely and is offering a free ride home to those who partake of a little too much Irish cheer this weekend.
AAA Northern California will offer its Tipsy Tow service free of charge to anybody who feels they’re too impaired to drive from 6 p.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Saturday. Drivers do not need to be a AAA Member to take advantage of this free service to the community.
“AAA wants everybody to have fun on St. Patrick’s Day, but don’t press your luck if you feel impaired, call AAA and we’ll make sure you get home safely,” said John Moreno, spokesperson for AAA Northern California. “AAA’s Tipsy Tow is free to anyone in need. You can’t beat the price.”
To participate in the free service, drivers, passengers, party hosts, bartenders and/or restaurant managers can call 1-800-AAA-HELP (1-800-222-4357) between 6 p.m. March 17 and 6 a.m. March 18, state that they need a “tipsy tow,” and provide the driver’s name, home address, phone number and vehicle/driver location.
The service will provide a one-way ride for drivers and their 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 they can be transported safely in the tow truck. Tipsy Tow does not take reservations.
According to California Highway Patrol crash data, during last year’s St. Patrick’s Day, three people were killed and nearly 60 others were injured on California’s roadways due to alcohol related collisions. That same day, CHP made 145 arrests statewide for driving under the influence.
AAA estimates that a first-time misdemeanor DUI conviction in California can cost approximately $15,649 or more in fines, penalties, restitution, legal fees and increased insurance costs. DUI-related costs have risen sharply in recent years largely due to steep increases in fines and insurance for DUI drivers. The estimated cost of a first-offense misdemeanor DUI for those under age 21 is $21,500.