AAA Texas encourages everyone who is of legal drinking age, and plans to have alcoholic beverages to celebrate Independence Day, to plan ahead. AAA Texas advises those who plan to consume alcohol to designate a non-drinking driver, call for a cab or approved ride-sharing service, or plan an overnight stay before having their first drink. As a last resort, AAA Texas will offer a free community service called Tipsy Tow which aims to keep drinking drivers off the road. The service will be available statewide from 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4 through 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 5, 2018.
Drivers, bartenders, restaurant managers, party hosts or passengers of a drinking driver may call 1-800-222-4357 or 1-800-AAA-HELP for Drivers, bartenders, restaurant managers, party hosts or passengers of a drinking driver may call 1-800-222-4357 or 1-800-AAA a free tow home of up to 10 miles. Callers simply request a Tipsy Tow and will receive the free tow and ride home. A regular AAA Texas-contracted roadside service truck will be dispatched. For rides more than 10 miles, drivers should expect to pay the rate charged by the tow truck contractor. The passenger and tow truck driver should agree in advance what the excess mileage charges will be and the method of payment, prior to the tow.
You do not have to be an AAA member to use the Tipsy Tow service however it is only for a one-way, one-time ride for a driver and tow for that driver’s vehicle.
Please keep in mind the following situations do not qualify for a Tipsy Tow:
· A request to tow an inoperable vehicle
· A request to tow to another drinking establishment, repair facility or any other location other than the driver’s home or hotel where they are a registered guest
· A request to start a vehicle, change a flat tire or deliver gas.
· A request for a “taxi” service or to transport anyone other than the driver of the vehicle
· Impaired Driving in Texas
Fifteen people were killed in alcohol-related crashes during the 2016 Independence Day holiday period, according to the latest statistics available from Texas Department of Transportation. Overall, impaired driving remains a serious problem on Texas roadways. In 2016, there were 24,563 DUI-alcohol-related traffic crashes in the state that resulted in 987 fatalities (11.6% increase from 2015) and 1,682 people seriously injured.
In addition, AAA Texas offers the following reminders to keep yourself and others safe and prevent drunk driving arrests this 4th of July.
While impaired driving kills more people on an annual basis, distracted driving is becoming a growing traffic-safety concern across Texas and the United States. “Don’t Drive Intoxicated – Don’t Drive Intexticated” is the theme of AAA’s new multimedia traffic safety education campaign created to make distracted driving socially unacceptable.
In Texas, the total number of crashes caused by distracted driving increased when comparing 2015 to 2016 data. According to the latest statistics from Texas Department of Transportation, the number of crashes caused by distracted driving increased by 3.2 percent. When examining statistics gathered from counties in major Texas metropolitan areas, the total number of crashes caused by distracted drivers increased in each of the areas listed. Overall, even though the number of crashes caused by distracted drivers increased from 2015 to 2016 in Texas, the number of people killed by distracted drivers slightly decreased, according to TxDOT statistics.
AAA Texas encourages all motorists to eliminate distracted driving by following these tips:
· Put it away. Place your mobile device out of sight to prevent temptation.
· Know where you’re going. If using a navigation system, program the destination before driving.
· Pull over. If you have to call or text while on the road, pull off the road safely and stop first.
· Ask passengers for help. If riding with someone, seek their help to navigate, make a call or send a message.
· Be a good passenger. Speak out if the driver of your vehicle is distracted.
· Don’t be a distraction. Avoid calling or texting others when you know they are driving.
· Everyone should prevent being intexticated. Just as drivers need to pay attention, so do pedestrians and bicyclists. Never call, text or play games while walking or cycling.