AAA offering free tows to those who drink during Super Bowl

According to CHP data, there is a 77 percent greater chance of alcohol-related injury, fatal crashes in California on Super Bowl Sunday

Bay Area Super Bowl fans who choose to drink Sunday at the Super Bowl and at Super Bowl parties can get a free tow home through AAA's Tipsy Tow program, AAA officials said Wednesday.

The Tipsy Tow program starts at 6 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday and ends at 6 a.m. Monday, Feb. 8 in Northern California.

The tow program is free for the first ten miles and after that it's whatever the tow service charges per mile, AAA spokeswoman Cynthia Harris said.

Tow truck drivers will take a fan and additional passengers -- if they can be taken safely in the truck - to the fan's home. The service is open to everyone, not just AAA members, Harris said.

It's meant to keep drunk drivers off the road.

On New Year's Eve, tow truck drivers give about 300 tipsy tows and on other holidays, such as St. Patrick's Day, the average is about 50, according to Harris.

To get a tow, drivers, passengers, bartenders, restaurant managers and party hosts can call 800-222-4357 and say to the operator, "I need a Tipsy Tow." AAA does not take reservations.

Harris could not say how many tows AAA officials are expecting to give Sunday and Monday, but with more than a million visitors to the area it could be offering a lot, she said.

"If you've been drinking, don't get behind the wheel," Harris said in a statement. "Give AAA a call and we'll make sure you get home safely."

California Highway Patrol data show a 77 percent greater chance of alcohol-related injury and fatal crashes in California on Super Bowl Sunday. In 2013, 24,000 people were injured or died in alcohol-related crashes, AAA officials said.

It can cost a person about $15,600 the first time they are convicted of misdemeanor DUI. The cost includes fines, restitution, penalties, legal fees and higher insurance costs.

The cost of a first-time misdemeanor DUI is $21,500 for someone under 21 years old.

The cost of injury or death has no price tag, AAA officials said.

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