HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - As New Year's Eve approaches, organizations like AAA are encouraging people who will be celebrating to start planning their ride home now.
Like many other holidays, New Year's Eve is one of the biggest nights for intoxicated drivers to be on the road. To keep drivers safe, AAA is offering their Tipsy Tow service to everyone in the Hampton Roads area, even if they aren't a AAA member.
The program is free -- all someone needs to do is call AAA at 1-800-AAA-HELP and say you need a tipsy tow. A tow truck will come to wherever you are, pick up the driver and the car and bring them home.
A spokesperson with AAA Tidewater tells News 3 that this service should be considered a last resort.
"We only have a small fleet of trucks, so don’t use that as your go-to before you go out. We are one of the programs that we think are a last-ditch effort. If you need us, call -- if we can't get to you in a reasonable amount of time we will let you know," explained Georjeane Blumling, Vice President of Public Affairs for AAA Tidewater Virginia. "We can only take the driver and the car owner home, not the whole party, and only to your home, not another party."
In addition to Tipsy Tow, the Law Offices of Kalfus and Nachman are also helping people get home safely through their Safe Rides Program. On New Year's Eve, you can get a free ride home from bar or restaurant through Black and White Cab Service. They are also offering a $35 credit for rides through Uber and Lyft. There are some limitations -- for more information, visit their website.
The Portsmouth Sheriff's Department is also providing free rides to people in the area. The number to call is 757-393-5050.
If these services do not work, law enforcement is urging people to utilize cab and ride share services if they are unable to find a designated driver. While the cost of a ride home could be expensive, it will always be less than the cost of a DUI, especially if you or someone else is injured or killed because of an intoxicated driver's actions.