This year AAA offered their “Tipsy Tow” problem to drivers in Northern California. Even if they are not a AAA member, anyone who was too drunk to drive could call AAA tow truck to come and tow their vehicle to their home as long as it was within a 10 mile radius.
This free service was meant to help keep California highways safe. According to the California Highway Patrol, 11 people died as a result of drunk driving crashes on Super Bowl Sunday in 2009. That’s three times the daily average for the state. Almost 500 people were arrested that same day for driving under the influence of alcohol. That means their out-of-pocket expenses shot up to almost $12,000, including points added to their license and possible jail time, not to mention the impact it has on their insurance rates.
The problem with inebriated drivers is that they have little objectivity when it comes to how much alcohol they consumed and whether or not they are capable to drive.
In fact, depending on your body weight and metabolism, just one drink might be enough to put you over the limit and make you incapable of driving safely. Alcohol has been shown to reduce your reflexes, slow down your reaction time and impair your judgement. That’s likely why drunk drivers think they’re “ok to drive” when clearly they are not.
AAA was hoping to improve the statistics for Northern California by offering this free ride home. If a bar tender or restaurant manager noticed a patron was too drunk to drive they could call AAA and arrange for a ‘Tipsy Tow’ without worrying about who was going to pay for it.
Hopefully the CHP will have some better roadway statistics to show for these efforts.
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