AAA offers ‘Tipsy Tow’ for St. Patty’s Day revelers

If you and your friends are planning to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a few drinks, you may not want to test whether the luck of the Irish is with you by getting behind the wheel of a vehicle in your inebriated state. From 6 p.m. March 17 to 6 a.m. March 18, AAA of Northern California is offering free rides home for both you and your car as part of its annual Tipsy Tow program. “Many people enjoy getting into the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, which tends to involve plenty of celebrating,” said Matt Skryja, spokesman for AAA. “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.” When tipsy drivers place that call, they and their vehicle will receive a one-way ride home, up to five miles away from the pick-up site. If the driver has any passengers, they too would be transported to the driver’s home as long as there is room in the tow truck. The number for drivers, bartenders, party hosts, passengers and restaurant managers to call is (800) AAA-HELP, or (800) 222-4357. AAA is offering drivers this option because simply downing one drink can impair vision, steering, braking, judgment, and reaction time, Skryja said. In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that drunken driving-related crashes made up about 36-percent of highway deaths among young adults age 16 to 24, he said. In California, a first time conviction for driving under the influence can cost up to $12,000 in fines, penalties, restitution, legal fees, and extra insurance expenses, according to AAA estimates. But causing a crash that results in injury or death is priceless, the agency reported.
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