For the 15th consecutive year, the Automobile Club of Southern California will offer its free Tipsy Tow service for the Fourth of July holiday, according to a news release from the Auto Club.
The service, which will run from 6 p.m. Tuesday until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, gives drivers the opportunity to have their vehicles towed home if they're unable to drive safely.
According to the Auto Club, callers to 800-400-4222 should tell operators, "I need a Tipsy Tow" to get the free tow and ride home. Operators will dispatch a regular Auto Club-contracted roadside service truck.
The Tipsy Tow service is restricted to a one-way, one-time ride home for the driver; passengers are not allowed, according to the Auto Club. Reservations will not be accepted, and drivers whose cars are towed further than seven miles must pay the rate charged by the tow truck contractor.
"Drivers should be aware of the high crash risk from drinking and driving associated with the holidays," said Auto Club senior researcher Steve Bloch. "We encourage them not to get behind the wheel if they've been drinking."
Bloch said the July 4 holiday offers more opportunities for drinking alcohol.
"It only takes one or two drinks to slow physical and mental skills that affect vision, steering, braking judgement and reaction time," said Auto Club senior researcher Steve Bloch. He noted that the California Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies will run sobriety checkpoints and extra patrols to look for intoxicated drivers during the holiday period.
Nearly 200,000 drivers were arrested for driving while intoxicated in California in 2010, the last year for which results are available, and a recent survey found that 14 percent of motorists admitted to driving at least once in the past year when they felt they were probably over the legal limit, according to the Auto Club.
"This is entirely preventable," Bloch said.
—City News Service contributed to this report.