AAA offers free ride home on St. Patrick’s Day |

AAA offers free ride home on St. Patrick’s Day

Amid the St. Patrick’s Day festivities, AAA is offering its Tipsy Tow service free of charge around Lake Tahoe to anyone who feels too impaired to drive.

AAA membership is not needed to take advantage of this free service, which is being offered starting at 6 p.m. Friday, March 17, through 6 a.m. Saturday, March 18. It will be available both in California and Nevada around Lake Tahoe.

However, the ride home service is limited to 10 miles, so the free ride is not available to party-goers in Tahoe looking for a ride to Reno, Carson City or anywhere else outside of 10 miles.

The service will provide a one-way ride for drivers and their 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 they can be transported safely in the tow truck. Tipsy Tow does not take reservations.

To take advantage of the service, drivers, passengers, party hosts, bartenders and/or restaurant managers should:

Call 1-800-AAA-HELP (1-800-222-4357).

State that they need a “Tipsy Tow.”

Provide the driver’s name, home address, phone number and vehicle/driver location.

“AAA wants everybody to have fun on St. Patrick’s Day, but don’t press your luck if you feel impaired, call AAA and we’ll make sure you get home safely,” John Moreno, spokesperson for AAA Northern California, said in a press release. “AAA’s Tipsy Tow is free to anyone in need. You can’t beat the price.”

According to California Highway Patrol (CHP) crash data, during last year’s St. Patrick’s Day, three people were killed and nearly 60 others were injured on California’s roadways due to alcohol related collisions, the AAA press release states. That same day, CHP made 145 arrests statewide for driving under the influence (DUI).

AAA estimates that a first-time misdemeanor DUI conviction in California can cost approximately $15,649 or more in fines, penalties, restitution, legal fees and increased insurance costs. DUI-related costs have risen sharply in recent years largely due to steep increases in fines and insurance for DUI drivers. The estimated cost of a first-offense misdemeanor DUI for those under age 21 is $21,500.

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