Free Tows Available for 4th Holiday

Low gas prices are propelling more Texans onto the roads for the July 4th holiday. Travel will be up five percent from a year ago, and AAA Texas is hoping to discourage drunk driving through its free towing program. Carrie Feibel has more.

It has a cutesy name but a serious intent.

The Tipsy Tow program aims to discourage drunk driving by offering a free short tow for anyone in Texas who's had too much to drink, but doesn't want to leave their vehicle behind.

Sarah Schimmer is with AAA Texas.

"Some people say that they'd prefer to risk it and drive under the influence, which is never a good idea, because they don't want to leave their car behind. But this is a program where we'll tow you up to 10 miles free of charge and also take your car so you don't feel you have to leave your car in maybe an unsafe place overnight."

You don't even need to be a AAA member to call for a Tipsy Tow.

If that all sounds quite generous, here are the restrictions.

The tow truck driver will only take the car and you, not any passengers.

And if you want to go farther than 10 miles, you'll have to work out the additional payment with the driver.

And you can't just go anywhere.

"We will not tow you to another drinking establishment or repair facility, we'll only tow you to home, to your place of residence. However, if you are a guest of a hotel, that's acceptable."

Schimmer says AAA Texas conducts a few hundred of these tows every July 4. AAA members essentially subsidize the service, but Schimmer says everyone benefits:

"Our members are in support of us being an advocate for the safety of all motorists on the road."

The service will operate from 6 p.m. July 3rd until midnight on July 4th. The number to call is (800) 222-"Help" or (800) 222-4357.

Bio photo of Carrie Feibel

Carrie Feibel

Health & Science Reporter

Carrie Feibel is KUHF's health and science reporter. She comes to Houston Public Radio after ten years as a print reporter...