SALT LAKE CITY -- AAA will offer its Tipsy Tow service to drinking drivers from 6 p.m. New Year's Eve until 6 a.m. New Year's Day in Utah.
Drivers, potential passengers, party hosts, bartenders and restaurant managers who may have been drinking can call 800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP) for a free tow home of up to 10 miles.
Just tell the AAA operator, "I need a Tipsy Tow," and a truck will be on its way, regardless of whether you are a AAA member.
The service will provide a one-way ride for the driver and 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 there is sufficient room for them to be transported safely in the tow truck.
"We want everyone to ring in the New Year by having fun and enjoying the evening with friends and family," said AAA Utah spokeswoman Rolayne Fairclough. "But we want everyone to do it safely and responsibly. Simply call for our Tipsy Tow service and help AAA keep the roads safe this holiday."
According to a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study, 20 percent of all motorists in the past year have driven a motor vehicle within two hours of drinking alcohol. About 13 percent of the total population has done so in the past 30 days. It takes only one or two drinks to impair vision, steering, braking, judgment and reaction time.
AAA estimates that a first-time DUI conviction can cost up to $12,000 in fines, penalties, restitution, legal fees and added insurance expenses.
"If you've been drinking, don't get behind the wheel," added Fairclough. "Give AAA a call, and we'll make sure you get home safely."
Similarly, New Car Dealers of Utah, through its Good Wheels program, will donate $5,000 to Utah Highway Patrol for UHP's efforts to reduce drunken drivers on Utah roads.
A check will be presented to UHP today.
UHP plans to have troopers working shifts over the New Year's weekend, using the donation.