Free tow service available from AAA for those celebrating on July 4

AAA Hawaii will be offering its Tipsy Tow service for those celebrating the Fourth of July who may have had too many drinks.

The free tow service is available from 6 p.m. today to midnight Friday.

Motorists, bartenders, restaurant managers, party hosts or passengers of a drinking driver may call (800) 222-4357 for a free tow home of up to 5 miles.

Callers simply tell the AAA operators, “I need a Tipsy Tow,” to receive the free tow and ride home. A regular AAA Hawaii-contracted emergency road service truck will be dispatched. Tipsy Tow is unique in that it provides drivers with a safe ride home for themselves and their vehicle so they don’t drive while intoxicated.

Restrictions are that the tow-rides are a one-way, one-time ride for the driver and that the destination is limited to the driver’s residence. Reservations are not accepted.

Drivers can expect to pay the rate charged by the tow truck contractor for rides farther than 5 miles.

Tipsy Tow is a community service offered by AAA Hawaii as an option of last resort.

AAA Hawaii said drinking drivers frequently don’t plan for other ways to get home because they are concerned about retrieving their vehicles. They cite the expense of taxis and time inconvenience as the major reasons they don’t use alternative transportation.

“A high crash risk from drinking and driving is associated with the holiday, and AAA Hawaii encourages all motorists to think twice about getting behind the wheel if they have been drinking,” said AAA Hawaii General Manager Liane Sumida.

Fourth of July is a traditional time for home parties and barbecues, she said.

“It takes only one or two drinks to slow physical and mental skills and affect vision, steering, braking, judgment and reaction time,” said Sumida.