Special to the Journal
TAMPA, Fla. – Three in five (63%) consumers think people use a designated driver more on New Year’s Eve because of all the increased media coverage on the topic of drinking and driving, shows AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey. Yet one in four (75%) consumers report that they have never or rarely been a designated driver for friends or family in the past year. To help make sure everyone has a safe ride home, AAA and Bud Light will offer the Tow to Go program for New Year’s Eve weekend. The program is designed to help discourage an intoxicated driver from getting behind the wheel. Anyone, AAA member or not, can call for a Tow to Go ride, now through January 1.
“New Year’s Eve is the busiest night of the year for the Tow to Go program because so many motorists seem to be more inclined to use a designated driver but don’t always have someone willing to be one in their own party during the biggest celebration of the year,” said Gerry Gutowski, Sr. Vice President, Automotive Services, AAA—The Auto Club Group. “We prepare our call center teams and tow truck service providers for weeks in advance, so we can manage the increased call volume that’s typical of this time of year.”
Since its inception in 1998, Tow to Go has safely removed more than 22,000 intoxicated drivers from the roads. The service is designed to be used as a last resort. It is offered based on availability of AAA drivers and tow trucks during times of high call volume. The Auto Club Group has provided the Tow to Go service for more than 15 years because it allows AAA to protect the freedom and mobility of motorists on our roadways.
“We are proud to join forces with AAA and their team of roadside assistance drivers on this great program that helps to keep our roads safe,” said Kathy Casso, vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility, Anheuser-Busch.
“The safest way to bring in the New Year is to have a designated driver in your party before you have your first drink,” said Gutowski. “If you are relying on a taxi or free service to get you home, you should plan for there to be a very high demand after midnight for these services. The high call volume means a longer wait for a sober ride when the party is over and it is time to go home.”
Tow to Go Services:
- Confidential local ride within a 10-mile radius to a safe location
- Service is provided in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee
- Free and available to both AAA members and non-members
- The AAA tow truck takes the vehicle and the driver home
|Tow to Go Service Area(s)||Phone Number|
|Florida / Georgia / Tennessee||(855) 2-TOW-2-GO or (855) 286-9246|
Anheuser-Busch Wholesalers have been a co-sponsor of the program since its inception in 1998. Not only has the company provided funding for the service, it has also worked with local bars and restaurants throughout Florida, Georgia and Tennessee to help educate servers on the importance of not over serving their customers.
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services offerings to approximately 8.8 million members across 11 states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois, Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with nearly 53 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.
For nearly three decades, Anheuser-Busch and its nationwide network of 600 wholesalers have invested more than $930 million in national advertising campaigns and community-based programs to encourage responsible drinking and prevent underage drinking and drunk driving. For more information on these efforts and the progress being made in fighting underage drinking and drunk driving, visit www.anheuser-busch.com.
The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among residents living in the Southern Region of The Auto Club Group (Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee) from November 1- 4, 2013. A total of 1,226 residents completed the survey. The survey has a maximum margin of error of ± 2.8 percentage points. Overall survey responses are weighted by gender and age within state to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18+) in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.