With area roads packed with holiday revelers on the biggest party night of the year, the AAA auto club again is offering its Tow to Go program to keep impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel on New Year's Eve throughout Florida, including Volusia and Flagler counties.
“If you’re faced with the decision of driving impaired, put down those keys and pick up the phone to call Tow to Go,” Mark Jenkins, Tampa-based AAA spokesman stated in a news release. “We’ll dispatch a truck to take you and your vehicle to a safe location within a 10-mile radius.”
At the same time, AAA advises, be aware that the auto club’s service technicians expect to rescue more than 937,000 drivers with car trouble during the upcoming holidays. With that in mind, partiers are urged to use Tow to Go as a last resort.
Instead, it’s important to plan ahead and identify a designated driver or ride-sharing service before heading out to ring in 2024, AAA states.
Here’s what you need to know:
The service is now active and will be available through 6 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2. It’s available in 11 states nationwide, including Florida.
It’s the 25th year that AAA has provided the service, which dispatches a tow truck to transport the impaired driver and vehicle to a safe location within a 10-mile radius for free. Since its inception, Tow to Go has kept more than 25,000 impaired drivers from taking to the road.
No. The service is free and available to AAA members and non-members.
Appointments cannot be scheduled in advance to use Tow to Go. It is designed as a safety net for those that didn’t plan ahead. AAA recommends always choosing a designated driver before celebrating.
In some situations, AAA may need to make other arrangements to get an impaired individual a safe ride home, the company states.
Tow to Go also may not be available in rural areas or during severe weather conditions.
The number to call is 855-2-TOW-2-GO or 855-286-9246.
Uber and Lyft ride-sharing services both will be operating on New Year’s Eve, but there are no complimentary ride deals available. Local cab companies also are an option.
In fact, because of the peak demand from the ball-drop at midnight until about 2 a.m., Uber’s surge pricing will automatically kick in to incentivize more of its drivers to get on the road. That will drastically increase the cost of a ride.
Also, because of the high demand, expect it to be difficult to book a driver between midnight and 2 a.m., when everyone else is making plans to head home. The car hailing service recommends requesting rides right as the ball drops at midnight or settling in until much later when demand and prices start to dip.
If you’re celebrating in St. Augustine, the Farah & Farah law firm is offering its Safe Ride Program that uses vouchers with Uber and partnerships with local cab companies to provide free rides for impaired drivers.
The Farah & Farah program started in Jacksonville in 2015 and has since expanded to St. Augustine, Savannah and Fort Myers. Visit farahandfarah.com for details.