AAA to Offer Free Tows on Fourth of July to Keep Intoxicated Drivers Off SoCal Roads

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The Automobile of Southern California is doing its part to keep drunken drivers off the road this Fourth of July by offering Tipsy Tow service.


In this file photo from 2006, police officers stop cars at a DUI checkpoint in San Bruno, California. (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The service is available to members and nonmembers in all 13 Southern California counties served by the Auto Club starting 6 p.m. Tuesday and going until 6 a.m. Wednesday, according to a AAA news release.

It is intended only for drivers, and excludes rides for passengers; the restricted one-way, one-time ride also limits the destination to the motorist’s residence.

The tow is free for up to 7 miles, then rates for the tow truck operator apply.

To activate the service, callers simply need to dial 1-800-400-4AAA and tell the Auto Club operator, “I need a Tipsy Tow,” the release stated. AAA will then dispatch an Auto-Club contracted roadside service to the person’s location.

Tipsy Tow is intended as a “last resort,” with AAA urging people to avoid drinking and driving by designating a sober driver or using a ride-hailing service.

“It only takes one or two drinks to slow physical and mental skills that affect vision, steering, braking judgment, and reaction time,” said Anita Lorz Villagrana, the Auto Club’s community programs and traffic safety manager.  “Drivers should be aware that the California Highway Patrol and law enforcement agencies are likely using sobriety checkpoints and extra patrols to look for drinking drivers during the holiday.”

In 2015, CHP reported that impaired driving between July 1 and July 4 resulted in 271 fatalities and injuries in the state, according to AAA.