Maui News

AAA Hawaiʻi Offers “Tipsy Tow” For New Year’s Eve

December 26, 2014, 8:40 AM HST
* Updated December 26, 8:42 AM
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Photo collage by Wendy Osher.

Photo collage by Wendy Osher.

By Maui Now Staff

AAA Hawaiʻi is offering a “tipsy tow” service on New Year’s Eve as a last resort for individuals needing a ride home after drinking.  The service is available in areas served by AAA Hawaiʻi, and is good for a free tow home of up to five miles.

The tow is unique in that it provides a driver with a safe ride home for themselves and their vehicle instead of driving while intoxicated.

According to a company announcement, the service is available from 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014 until 6 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015.

The company encourages party-goers to plan ahead for a sober ride, or use a designated driver if attending a gathering.  Callers are also advised that the service excludes rides for passengers and is restricted to one-way, one-time rides to a driver’s home.  If the transport is further than five miles, a driver will be charged for the additional mileage by the tow contractor.

To utilize the service the number to call is 1-800-222-4357. Callers simply tell the AAA operators, “I need a Tipsy Tow,” and a service truck will be dispatched to the site.

“We want motorists to be aware of the high crash risk from drinking and driving associated with the holiday and encourage them to think twice about getting behind the wheel if they have been drinking,” said AAA Hawaiʻi’s General Manager Liane Sumida in an agency press release.

Here on Maui, the Maui Police Department is currently conducting a holiday DUI enforcement campaign, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” that runs through Friday, Jan. 2, 2015.

During a similar three week campaign conducted in 2014, police made a total of 42 arrests for drivers operating a motor vehicle while under the influence.  During that county-wide campaign, police set up a total of 14 intoxication controlled checkpoints.

In 2012, crashes involving drunken drivers claimed 10,322 lives, compared with 9,865 in 2011, according to information compiled by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and detailed by AAA.

“It takes only one or two drinks to slow physical and mental skills and affect vision, steering, braking, judgment and reaction time,” Sumida said. “Drivers should be aware that the law enforcement agencies are using extra patrols to look for drinking drivers during the holiday.”

AAA Hawaiʻi estimates that a first time DUI conviction can cost about $15,649 or more in fines, penalties, restitution, legal fees and insurance costs.

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