Statewide Iowa — It’s late. You’ve been at a holiday party, and you didn’t plan ahead and designate a driver, and now you’ve had too much to drink and shouldn’t be driving. Well, it could be AAA to the rescue.
AAA is once again offering Tow to Go – in select states – during the final week of the holiday season, serving as the last line of defense to keep impaired drivers off the road.
The service is provided from 6 p.m. Friday, December 24th – 6 a.m. Monday, January 3rd.
AAA tells us their Tow to Go program has removed more than 25,000 impaired drivers from the road. When called, a tow truck transports the would-be impaired driver and their vehicle to a safe place within a 10-mile radius. The service is free, yet AAA asks that it be treated as a backup plan.
They tell us that approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during the 2019 Christmas and New Year’s Day holiday periods, there were more drunk-driving-related fatalities (210) than during any other holiday period that year across the U.S.
AAA spokeswoman Meredith Mitts says that driving impaired doesn’t only endanger you yourself, but risks the lives of all the adults and children you share the road with. She says that AAA is, “Proud to provide this life-saving program during the holidays. Yet we still urge people to identify a safe ride home before they party, and treat Tow to Go as their last resort.”
The service is available in Iowa and ten other states, including Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, the Denver area of Colorado, the Charlotte area of North Carolina and the Fort Wayne and South Bend area of Indiana.
They tell us you can call (855) 2-TOW-2-GO or (855) 286-9246.
The service is available to both AAA members and non-members. It is a confidential local ride for one person and their vehicle to a safe location within a 10-mile radius. Also, Mitts says that AAA service vehicles are limiting passengers to one per vehicle, with face mask/covering, in accordance with established COVID-19 safety protocols.
She says appointments cannot be scheduled in advance to use Tow to Go, because it is designed as a safety net for those that did not plan ahead. She says you should always choose a designated driver BEFORE celebrating.
According to Mitts, in some situations, AAA may need to make other arrangements to get an impaired individual a safe ride home. She says Tow to Go may not be available in rural areas or during severe weather conditions.