Drive Safe This Holiday Season

Drive Safe This Holiday Season

As we celebrate the holidays and bid adieu to 2016, you’re encouraged to celebrate and have a good time. But if your festivities include alcohol, make sure you’ve got a plan for a safe ride home. With more people on the roads and many opportunities for people to imbibe, it’s important to stay aware of risks associated with drinking and driving.

Your top priority on the road should be to keep yourself and loved ones safe. Driving and drinking are a dangerous mix. To enjoy the holiday festivities responsibly, the best option is to assign a designated driver. Beyond that, keep in mind these tips from AAA.

Be Smart

First things first: use common sense. Follow these guidelines to make sure you don’t ruin your night before it even gets started.


Never serve alcohol to those under age 21; it’s illegal and dangerous.


Remember that prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, illegal drugs, and even late-night drowsiness can also impair your ability to drive safely and can increase the effects of alcohol.


Offer and consume a variety of foods to help absorb some of the alcohol; also drink water to stay hydrated.


If you encounter an impaired driver on the road, keep a safe distance and ask a passenger to call 911 (or pull over to a safe location to make the call yourself).

Make a Plan

Before you head out for the evening, consider how you’re getting home. After the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, don’t drop the ball on common sense.


Call a friend or family member for a ride home if you’ve been drinking, and never ride as a passenger for someone who has been drinking.


Keep a cab/sober ride telephone number in your cellphone or wallet so you can call for a ride home.


Utilize a rideshare program such as Uber or Lyft, but remember these can charge premium rates at busy hours.


Let your peers know that you will take away their car keys if they’ve had too much to drink.

In an effort to help remove drunken drivers from the road, your AAA club offers Tipsy Tow, a complimentary ride and vehicle tow for drivers who have consumed too much alcohol.

Motorists may call 1-800-400-4222 for a free tow home.1 Tipsy Tow is available from 6 p.m. Saturday, December 31, 2016, through 6 a.m. Sunday, January 1, 2017. Callers simply tell the AAA operator, "I need a Tipsy Tow," to receive the free tow and ride home. This free service transports both the driver and their vehicle.

Keep in mind that the service excludes rides for passengers; is restricted to a one-way, one-time ride for the driver; and the destination is limited to the driver’s residence. Reservations are not accepted. Drivers should expect to pay the rate charged by the tow truck contractor for long-distance rides beyond the free Tipsy Tow range.

Your vision, steering, braking judgment, and reaction time can all be affected by alcohol, even if you’re under the legal limit. The good news is that current laws, public awareness, enforcement, and education efforts by public service-oriented organizations, including AAA, have contributed to the decline in the number of alcohol-related fatalities during the past 13 years.

Visit for impaired driving facts, transportation alternatives, and expert advice.

Information taken from DUI Justice Link, 2016, American Automobile Association.

1Tow mileage limits apply.