For the 15th consecutive year, the Automobile Club of Southern California will offer its free "Tipsy Tow'' service in hopes of keeping drunken drivers off the road during this holiday weekend.
The service will be available until 6 a.m. Sunday in the 13 counties served by the Auto Club.
According to the Auto Club, any motorist, bartender, restaurant manager, party host or passenger of a drinking driver can call (800) 400-4AAA for a free tow -- of up to seven miles.
Callers should tell operators they want a Tipsy Tow, and a tow truck under contract to the Auto Club will be dispatched.
The service does not include rides for passengers and is restricted to a one-way, one-time ride to the driver's home. For distances longer than seven miles, drivers will be expected to pay the normal rate charged by the tow truck
A first-time drunken driving conviction can cost $12,176 or more in fines, penalties, restitution, legal fees and increased insurance costs, according to Auto Club officials.
The Auto Club offers these safety tips to keep motorists and others safe during this holiday weekend:
- At social events, designate non-drinking drivers who can get everyone home safely.
- Call a friend or family member for a ride home if you have been drinking.
- Keep a cab company telephone number in your wallet so you can call for a ride home.
- As a party host, offer a variety of non-alcoholic drink alternatives and provide a gift to guests who volunteer to be designated drivers.
- Take the car keys away from friends and relatives who have had too much to drink.