Don't let that designated driver off the hook just yet.
News of a popular AAA program that offers free rides and tows to New Year's Eve overindulgers has spread quickly across Facebook and other social networking services this week, but AAA Mid-Atlantic says the program is not available in Pennsylvania.
AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson Jenny Robinson said Wednesday the "Tipsy Tow" program is only available in certain parts of the country.
"There is some confusion because people have re-posted the info on social media, which I believe originated out of the locations where the service is available," Robinson said.
Robinson said AAA clubs are operated individually; it is not one nationwide service.
"AAA Clubs offer this on a club-by-club basis," she said.
If you happen to be celebrating New Year's Eve down in Baltimore, for instance, AAA Mid-Atlantic will offer a "Tipsy Taxi" service in that city.
There are "Sober Ride" programs available to intoxicated individuals, and most offer services for free.
The same service covers Bucks and Montgomery counties:
Designated Driving Service
9 p.m. to 2 a.m., Thursday to Saturday; 7 p.m. to 11p.m. Sunday
A shared van takes you home.
"We’re happy people are caring about the subject and are concerned about safety and we are all for that," she said, "but we don’t want someone to be disappointed if they assume they will call AAA Mid-Atlantic and expect a service we don’t offer at this time."
Robinson said she hopes to offer a similar program in the Philadelphia region next year.
She said getting a program started in Pennsylvania would take a lot of time and organization, as well as money. She said they could get sponsors for it, such as a nonprofit organization.
AAA has to focus its resources first on providing normal roadside services that people expect of them, she said.
"It will take quite a bit of planning," Robinson said. "One of the things I'd love to be able to do, and work on personally, is have a service available for the next holiday season. May 'Tipsy Taxi' rather than 'Tipsy Tow' where you can call a number and get a cab ride."
Robinson said in the meantime, AAA Mid-Atlantic encourages everyone to stay safe by using a designated driver, staying overnight where they are, or calling a taxicab.
"If you are hosting a party, be a responsible host and allow guests to stay there or arrange someone in the household to be a designated driver," she said.
Robinson provided the following list of AAA regions where "Tipsy Tow" and similar services are offered this Saturday night:
AAA Clubs Currently Offering a "Tipsy Tow" Program
· AAA Alabama (Statewide. Program is called “Tow-for-Life”)
· Auto Club of Southern California (including Hawaii, New Mexico, and Texas)
· AAA South Dakota ( Statewide)
· AAA Arizona ( Statewide)
· AAA Oklahoma ( Metro Tulsa, Metro Oklahoma City, Shawnee, Bartlesville, Enid, Muskogee and Lawton )
· AAA Montana – (Missoula, Bozeman, Helena and Billings)
· AAA Northern California
· AAA Nevada ( Statewide)
· AAA Utah( Statewide)
· AAA Auto Club South (Statewide in Florida, Georgia, West and Middle Tennessee. Program is called “Tow-to-Go”)
· AAA Tidewater Virginia (Greater Hampton Roads area including Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson, Yorktown, and Williamsburg. Program is called ‘Tow-to-Go”)
There are also Apps you can download for your Smartphone to help locate a taxi service:
- Call a Taxi - Free by OnDemandWorld; $1.99 by Networking 2.0
- Taxi - $0.99 by Applandia
- Taxi Cab Finder - $0.99 by Matt Martindale
AAA also has its own Apps available for download.