To prevent drunk driving, AAA clubs around the country are offering free rides to folks who’ve celebrated too much to safely get behind the wheel over Memorial Day weekend. They’ll also tow your car home—again, free of charge. Amazingly, the service is available even if you’re not a AAA member.
The special service, dubbed “Tipsy Tow” or “Tow-to-Go” by various AAA clubs, is not supposed to be used as an excuse to go out and party without a designated driver. The American Automobile Association says that it “strongly encourages family and friends to pick a designated driver before they head out for any Memorial Day celebrations.”
But if, for whatever reason, you find yourself without a sober driver and in need of a ride home, the following regional AAA clubs will pick you up and tow your car home this weekend:
• The Auto Club Group (Statewide in Florida and Georgia and in West and Middle Tennessee. Program is called “Tow-to-Go”)
• AAA Arizona (statewide)
• AAA Northern California (in all club territories)
• AAA Nevada (statewide)
• AAA Utah (statewide)
• AAA New Jersey Automobile Club (Morris, Essex and Union counties)
• AAA Northwest Ohio (available in Lucas, Fulton, Wood, Henry, Williams, Defiance, Paulding and Ottawa counties)
• AAA South Dakota (Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Mitchell and Yankton
• AAA Oklahoma (Metro Tulsa, Metro Oklahoma City, Shawnee, Bartlesville, Enid, Muskogee, Ardmore and Lawton )
If you’re not in any of the above areas, don’t expect the local AAA club to offer the service. It’s not going to happen.
Each club’s service is a little different. In South Dakota, Tipsy Tow is available from 6 p.m. on Friday, May 25, until 2 a.m. on Tuesday, May 29, in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Mitchell and Yankton. A tow and a free ride are given to AAA members and nonmembers alike, no charge and no questions asked, for up to two people, within a 15-mile radius of the pickup spot. Drivers will drop people and their cars off only in one place—wherever they live—so don’t even think about trying to use the service as a free ride to a bar or party.
The AAA club of Northern California, meanwhile, is offered only for one person and a vehicle from 6 p.m. on Monday, May 28, to 6 a.m. on Tuesday, May 29. The ride is limited to 10 miles one way, and, again, the only allowable destination is home.
The Tow-to-Go program from the Auto Club Group (the name of the AAA club in Florida, Georgia, and parts of Tennessee) is fittingly sponsored by Budweiser and is offered on several holiday periods every year, including Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, New Year’s, the Super Bowl, and Cinco de Mayo. This club’s service has been around since 1998, and it’s credited with keeping more than 18,000 impaired drivers off the roads.