AAA offering free rides, tows for impaired drivers during Christmas, New Year's Day celebrations

AAA is once again activating its ‘Tow to Go’ service to give impaired drivers and their vehicles a free ride and tow to a safe place during the holiday period.

The program will be offered from 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 24 through 6 a.m. Monday, January 3. They said people who have had too much to drink can call 855-2-TOW-2-GO, which is 855-286-9246, to get a tow somewhere with a 10-mile radius. The service is free for both AAA members and non-members.

It may not be available in rural areas or during severe weather conditions. The program operates in Florida; Georgia; Iowa; Michigan; North Dakota; Nebraska; Tennessee; Wisconsin; Denver; Colorado; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Fort Wayne/South Bend, Indiana.

AAA says, due to COVID-19 protocols, service vehicles are limiting passengers to one per vehicle with a face mask or covering. Additional passengers will need to make other arrangements.

READ: Florida Army veteran pays off past-due utility bills for families ahead of Christmas

The hope is that people will treat the service as a backup plan.

"Driving impaired doesn’t only endanger yourself, but risks the lives of all the adults and children you share the road with," Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman, said in a statement. "AAA is proud to provide this life-saving program during the holidays. Yet we still urge people to identify a safe ride home before they party, and treat Tow to Go as their last resort."

AAA reports that during the 2019 Christmas and New Year’s Day holiday periods, there were more drunk driving-related fatalities – a total of 210 – than during any other holiday period that year across the U.S.