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Free towing for drinking drivers

July 3, 2009 5:54:21 AM PDT
Starting Friday night, the Automobile Club of Southern California will offer free towing in an attempt to keep drunken drivers off the road during the Fourth of July weekend.For the 11th consecutive year, what's known as the "Tipsy Tow" program will be available to intoxicated drivers from 6 p.m. Friday through midnight on Saturday in the 13 Southern California counties covered by the Auto Club.

The free tow is to the driver's house, up to seven miles from where the car is parked, and does not include a ride for passengers. If the distance is greater than seven miles, drivers will have to pay the rate charged by the tow truck company.

Callers are instructed to call (800) 400-4AAA or (800) 400-4222 and just ask for a Tipsy Tow.

"Drivers should be aware of the high crash risk from drinking and driving associated with holidays and encourage them to think twice about getting behind the wheel if they've been drinking," said the Auto Club's senior researcher Steve Bloch in a news release.

Research conducted by the AAA found that drivers who drink often do not seek other ways of getting home because they are worried about how to get their car in the morning. They also cite the cost of taxis as one of the major reasons why people drive after they've been drinking.

"It only takes one or two drinks to slow physical and mental skills that affect vision, steering, braking judgment, and reaction time," Bloch said. "We hope drivers are aware that the California Highway Patrol and law enforcement agencies are likely to be using extra patrols to look for drinking drivers during the holiday."

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