Make plans now to get home safely

Published 9:32 pm Saturday, December 28, 2013

Revelers with plans to celebrate the New Year away from home are encouraged to make plans ahead of time for getting home safely.

According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, December is the most dangerous month of the year in Virginia. Alcohol-related crashes accounted for 788 preventable wrecks last December, according to AAA Tidewater Virginia.

“Motorists should be aware of the high crash risk associated with drinking and driving especially this time of the year,” said Georjeane Blumling, vice president of public affairs for AAA Tidewater Virginia. “As an advocate for motorists, we urge everyone to think before they drink this season and plan for a designated driver, to take a cab, or take advantage of one of the area programs for a safe ride home.”

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According to the latest data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, one in five of all licensed drivers reported having driven when they thought their alcohol level might have been close to, or possibly over, the legal limit in the past year.

“The survey also reveals that 96 percent of drivers consider impaired driving to be unacceptable. Unfortunately, it seems that attitudes and the behaviors of drinking and driving just don’t add up,” added Blumling.

AAA Tidewater is once again offering a safe ride program called “Tow To Go” in the Hampton Roads community. The goal of the program is to provide a safe alternative to drinking and driving on area roads. The service will be available until 6 a.m. on Jan. 1.

Some guidelines about the Tow to Go service:

  • It will be provided only in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson, Yorktown and Williamsburg.
  • The program is available to AAA members and non-members at no charge.
  • The program is not a substitute for designating a sober driver beforehand.
  • No reservations allowed.
  • The only service that is to be provided under “Tow to Go” is towing to the individual’s residence.
  • Service will be provided to “regular” vehicles only — no excessively large trucks or RV’s.
  • The tow truck can only allow the owner/driver of the vehicle and one additional passenger in the tow truck.
  • Call 757-631-1700 or 1-800-AAA-HELP and tell the dispatcher, “I need a Tow To Go,” to receive both the free tow and ride home.