Today on Facebook, many friends are posting a picture that claims AAA’s “Tipsy Tow” program will, free of charge, transport drunk drivers home and tow their vehicles to prevent drunk driving fatalities on New Year’s Eve — but before you go drive out to drunken bacchanalia, there are some things you should know about AAA’s Tipsy Tow initiative.
If your plan is to drive to the bar or a party, drink up, and ring AAA’s Tipsy Tow this New Year’s Eve, please proceed with caution. You may have seen a Facebook picture that states the following, indicating that anyone can get sauced, call the 1-800 number, and an army of tow truck drivers are waiting to make sure no drunk driving fatalities occur on New Year’s Eve:
“No excuses, folks. Don’t drink and drive-and don’t ride with anybody who does. Tipsy Tow offered by AAA: You don’t have to be a AAA member, from 6pm-6am on New Year’s Eve/Day they will take your drunk self and your car home for FREE. Save this number… 1-800-222-4357. Please re-post this if you don’t mind.”
Skeptical of the claim, we called AAA’s Tipsy Tow service to ask whether the Facebook plea holds water — will Tipsy Tow really come get you, for free, no questions asked?
As it’s a weekend and basically a holiday, we were only able to reach a representative and not a higher-up at AAA — but potential drunk drivers should know this: I was shut down instantly.
Where I live, New York State, no AAA “Tipsy Tow” service is available statewide — at least according to the rep to whom I spoke. Availability varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but the whole entire state of New York is a lot of people that are simply not covered by Tipsy Tow.
(Many of whom, thanks to over-eager Facebook sharing, may be laboring under the impression AAA is going to go fetch their drunk derrieres at 5:30 AM on New Year’s. No. And this could lead to people deciding to drive drunk once stranded, or people being stuck and drunk in unsafe places because they thought they had a ride home.)
According to a local Patch, AAA Tipsy Tow is actually only available in 17 states, and the whole of New England has no service like this free on nights like New Year’s. Bear in mind, it gets pretty freaking cold in New Hampshire and Boston once the bars close!
If you plan to drink New Year’s Eve, as always, drink responsibly — and know that there is a pretty good chance AAA’s “Tipsy Tow” won’t be there to bail you out when it’s time to go home.