AAA helps fight drunk driving

AAA helps fight drunk driving

August 31st, 2011 by Emily Crisman in Local Regional News

AAA Auto Club South is partnering with Budweiser to offer free, confidential rides to both members and non-members 24 hours a day during Labor Day weekend Friday, Sept. 2-Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Anyone who feels they have overly imbibed that weekend and should not be on the road can call 1-800-AAA-HELP. Through its Tow to Go Program available every drinking holiday, AAA Auto Club South will send a member of its emergency road services crew to give anyone a ride home within the areas covered, which include Georgia, Florida and parts of Tennessee (the service is not available in Rhea and Bradley counties).

"By removing someone from the road that's been drinking, not only are we helping them, but anyone who's around them that could be impacted by someone who's on the road that shouldn't be," said David Rhea, membership sales representative for AAA Auto Club South.

Offered by the club since 1998, the Tow to Go Program gave 132 Tennessee drivers a safe ride home during Labor Day weekend 2010, according to Joanna Newton, manager of the program for AAA Auto Club South.

"Your insurance will never know, your employer will never know and your pastor will never know," said Rhea. "It's a service we provide to the general public, and it's completely confidential and free."

Newton said people who utilize the service can count on their privacy being protected, and they need only provide a first name and location to receive a ride. Wait times vary depending on demand, time of the call and location, she said.

"This is a program of last resort," she stressed. "We want people to understand they need to have a plan for the rest of the year and need to have a designated driver before their first drink."

The club will resume the service on Thanksgiving Day until the first of the year, said Rhea.