AAA program offering free towing for impaired drivers returns for Thanksgiving

AAA has brought back its "Tow to Go" program as a last defense to keep impaired drivers off the road during the holidays.

The program is available from Wednesday, November 24 through Sunday, November 28. The service will be in place to help drivers who may have had a little too much to drink and don’t have a ride home.

A tow truck will take the impaired driver home or to a safe location, but it must be within a 10-mile radius. AAA says, due to COVID-19 protocols, service vehicles are limiting passengers to one per vehicle with a face mask or covering. Additional passengers will need to make other arrangements.

"Appointments cannot be scheduled in advance to use Tow to Go," according to a news release from the company. "It is designed as a safety net for those that did not plan ahead. Always choose a designated driver before celebrating."

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The service is free to both members and non-members, but may not be available in rural areas or during severe weather conditions. The program operates in Florida; Georgia; Iowa; Michigan; North Dakota; Nebraska; Tennessee; Wisconsin; Denver; Colorado; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Fort Wayne/South Bend, Indiana.

The number to call is 855-2-TOW-2-GO, which is 855-286-9246.

While the service is free, AAA says it should be a backup plan.

"AAA is proud to bring back this life-saving program this Thanksgiving," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA-The Auto Club Group. "Now as millions of Americans get behind the wheel this holiday weekend, none of them will have an excuse for driving impaired. However, we still strongly encourage people to plan ahead and identify a safe ride home, and treat Tow to Go as their last resort."

AAA reports they have removed more than 25,000 impaired drivers from the road since 1998. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 10,142 deaths in traffic crashes involving impaired drivers in 2019. Among those fatalities, 417 occurred during the Thanksgiving holiday.