'Tow to Go' offers metro Detroiters free rides home for holiday weekend

Alcohol with car keys and handcuffs
Photo credit Getty Images

(WWJ) -- With limited work obligations on Thanksgiving and eased pandemic restrictions, many people will be hitting the bars on Wednesday evening.

In response to increased drinking on what’s known as the “Biggest Bar Night of the Year,” AAA is bringing back its Tow to Go program to provide a last line of defense to keep impaired drivers off the road.

Tow to Go is available Wednesday, Nov. 24 through Monday, Nov. 29 throughout the state of Michigan.

When called, a tow truck from AAA will transport would-be impaired drivers and their vehicles to a safe place within a 10 mile radius.

While the service is free, AAA officials say it should be treated as a backup plan.

“AAA is proud to bring back this life-saving program this Thanksgiving,” said AAA spokeswoman Adrienne Woodland. “Now as millions of Americans get behind the wheel this weekend, none of them will have an excuse for driving impaired. However, we still strongly encourage people to identify a safe ride home and treat Tow to Go as their last resort.”

Since its inception in 1998, AAA’s Tow to Go program has removed more than 25,000 impaired drivers from the road.

An estimated 1.6 million Michigan residents are expected to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019, there were 10,142 fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving drivers impaired by alcohol. Of those fatalities, 417 were during the Thanksgiving holiday.

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Tow to Go Guidlines: 

--Days/Times Tow to Go is Provided: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov 24 through 6 a.m. Monday, Nov. 29

--Free and available to AAA members and non-members.

--Confidential local ride for one person and their vehicle to a safe location within a 10 miles radius.

--AAA service vehicles are limiting passengers to one (1) per vehicle, with face mask/covering, in accordance with established COVID-19 safety protocols. Additional passengers need to make other arrangements.

--Appointments cannot be scheduled in advance to use Tow to Go. It is designed as a safety net for those that did not plan ahead. Always choose a designated driver before celebrating.

--In some situations, AAA may need to make other