AAA provides free towing service for revelers

Published 8:59 am Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year’s Eve revelers have probably had a plan of where they were going to ring in 2012 for weeks, but there isn’t always a plan made for how they’ll get home.

AAA Alabama and towing companies across the state are again partnering in Tow for Life. And, AAA Alabama Spokesman Clay Ingram said the Troy area is included in the program.

“It’s free to anybody and everybody,” Ingram said. “No strings attached.”

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According to a recent 10-year analysis conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the year’s highest number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities happens on New Year’s Day.

You don’t have to be a AAA member to take advantage of the Tow for Life, but there are a couple of rules if you’d like to be sure your trip home is police and accident-free.
Ingram said people must be at the same location as their vehicle and have the keys to it and an ID with them. The vehicle also has to be operational.

“It’s not an opportunity for us to move your old clunker for you,” Ingram laughed.

And, if a truck with Tow for Life comes to pick you up, you have to go home.

“We have to take you home,” said Ingram. “We can’t take you to another party.”

In 2009, 10,839 people lost their lives in alcohol-related traffic crashes, according to AAA Alabama. That’s about one death every 48 minutes.

“If you know you are going to be a party and you are going to be under the influence of alcohol, you need to make a plan,” said Troy Police Sgt. Benny Scarbrough. “You don’t need to be operating a vehicle at any time.”

This is the 25th year for the program. The service began at 6 p.m. on Friday and will run continuously until 6 a.m. on New Year’s Day. The first 10 miles of the trip are free of charge, but there will be a service charge of $3 per mile after that, Ingram said, adding that AAA Alabama has found that 10 miles is more than enough for most partygoers.

If you or someone you know needs a free ride home during the New Year’s weekend, call 1-800-AAA-HELP.