AAA urges Christmas caution on the roads - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

AAA urges Christmas caution on the roads

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Posted: Tuesday, December 24, 2013 9:36 am | Updated: 4:40 pm, Mon Apr 28, 2014.

AAA Arizona doesn’t want you to become a statistic this holiday season.

With alcohol-related crashes up across the board, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, AAA offers several pointers for holiday revelers to avoid problems this week and beyond.

“The holidays are a time when people tend to overindulge,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs for AAA Arizona. “As a leader in driver safety, AAA urges drivers to plan for a safe ride home before celebrating. If that ride falls through, call AAA for a Tipsy Tow.”

A recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report revealed that nationally alcohol-impaired driving fatalities are up 4.4 percent. That number is higher in Arizona, where alcohol-related fatalities are up 7.1 percent.

One alcohol-related death occurs every 45 minutes in the United States, according to the NHTSA, and drunk drivers contribute to one in three traffic deaths.

More than 27,000 DUI arrests were made in Arizona in 2012, according to the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. AAA estimates that a first-time DUI conviction can cost a motorist more than $10,000 in fines, penalties, legal fees and increased insurance costs.

AAA offers these tips for a safe Christmas Eve

Be a responsible host:

• Offer food and non-alcoholic beverages.

• Make sure all of your guests have a designated driver.

• Keep the numbers for local cab companies, as well as AAA’s Tipsy Tow, handy.

• Take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving while impaired.

Be a responsible partygoer:

• If you plan to drive, don’t drink.

• If you plan to drink, select a designated driver and give them your car keys. If your ride falls through, call a cab, or use AAA’s Tipsy Tow as a transportation alternative.

• Buckle up — it’s your best defense against impaired drivers.

AAA’s Tipsy Tow service will start at 6 p.m. Tuesday and will run through 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Drivers, passengers and party hosts should:

• Call 1-800-AAA-HELP (1-800-222-4357) between 6 p.m. Tuesday and 6 a.m. Wednesday.

• State that they need a “Tipsy Tow.”

• Provide the driver’s name, home address, phone number and vehicle/driver location.

Tipsy Tow provides a free 10-mile tow and ride home. For mileage beyond this, motorists are charged a standard towing rate. The service does not include roadside assistance.

For information, visit AAA.com/TipsyTow.

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