New Year’s Eve is the last great party of the year. Time for people to go out and send 2014 off in style. The problem is that for many people, a night of drinking comes but once (maybe a few times) a year, and they are not used to the down side of an evening of debauchery. For others, planning does not include how to get home after the ball has dropped.

There are many things you can do to protect yourself and others from the idiocy of drinking and driving. Designate a driver. Walk to your destination. Take a cab or rent a limo. Maybe even stay at home. After all, they don’t call New Year’s Eve “Amateur Hour” for nothing. And you can believe the police are out there in force and aren’t about to cut you any slack. None. Zero. Zilch.

If you find yourself having overindulged and don’t want to drive home, The Automobile Club of Southern California is offering its free Tipsy Tow service during the New Year’s Eve holiday for the 18th year.  The community service is available from 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 31, to 6 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 1, to help remove drinking drivers from the road.  Tipsy Tow is available in the 13 Southern California counties served by the Auto Club.

Motorists, bartenders, restaurant managers, party hosts or passengers of a drinking driver may call 1-800-400-4AAA for a free tow home of up to seven miles.  Callers simply tell the Auto Club operators, “I need a Tipsy Tow,” to receive the free tow and ride home.  A regular Auto Club-contracted roadside service truck will be dispatched.  The Auto Club’s free service is unique in that it transports both the driver and their vehicle.

Callers need to keep in mind that the service excludes rides for passengers, is restricted to a one-way, one-time ride for the driver and the destination is limited to the driver’s residence.  Reservations are not accepted.  For rides farther than seven miles, drivers can expect to pay the rate charged by the tow truck contractor.

Have a safe New Year’s Eve and a prosperous 2015!

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