Fact Check

Holiday Safe Ride Program

AAA affiliates in some areas offer a free towing service during the holidays for motorists who have had too much to drink.

Published Dec 28, 2011

Updated Dec 29, 2020
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The AAA offers a free nationwide towing service during the holidays for motorists who have had too much to drink.

Hey ----YOU ! read up!

NO excuses, folks. Don't drink and drive - and don't ride with anybody who does. Tipsy Tow offered by AAA: You don't have to be a AAA member, from 6pm-6am on New Year's Eve/Day they will take your drunk self and your car home for FREE. Save this number... 1-800-222-4357. This is available nationwide! Please re-post this if you don't mind to help save lives. Got it?

At various times of year (e.g., between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, Super Bowl Sunday, St. Patrick's Day) the American Automobile Association (AAA) clubs in various states participate in a Holiday Safe Ride Program, arranging with local towers to provide a free service under which motorists who feel they have had too much to drink to drive safely can call a toll-free number and get a tow truck to deliver them and their vehicles home safely. This service is available to everyone, including non-AAA members, by calling 1-800-AAA-HELP:

This holiday season, AAA reminds motorists to travel safely and drive drug- and alcohol-free when hitting the roads. For those who do plan to drink, AAA urges them to take safety precautions in advance: designate a non-drinking driver, call a cab or stay with a friend.

A number of AAA clubs offer safe ride services on select dates for members and nonmembers. AAA strongly recommends selecting a designated driver before heading out for any holiday celebrations.

If you need a safe ride home, call 1-800-AAA-HELP.

Despite what is stated in the widely circulated example cited above, although this service is offered in a number of states, it is not available nationwide. Some state AAA branches offer it, and others don't; in some states, it is only available in particular areas (and may be limited to certain hours of the day). AAA advises calling them before New Year's Eve and verifying they are operating this service in your state.

For more information about whether Holiday Safe Ride Program services are offered in your area, visit the NewsRoom section of the AAA web site, call the AAA at the phone number listed above (1-800-AAA-HELP), or find and contact your local AAA office through the AAA.com web site.

Update Dec. 29, 2020: The AAA Northeast helpline told us that they were not permitting members to ride with their tow truck operators in light of the pandemic, but they were still providing towing services to those who needed them. On Dec. 17, 2020, an AAA representative described the additional protocols they had put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including arranging a ride for members through their friends, or organizing a Lyft or Uber.

Correction, Dec. 29, 2020: The AAA South website and a spokesperson for AAA, however, said they shut down their nationwide holiday towing operations in light of the pandemic.


[12/29/2020]: This article has been updated with information regarding the Tipsy Tow program during the COVID-19 pandemic.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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