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AAA offering free rides to heavy drinkers

Officials with AAA Auto Club South say the organization is working to keep intoxicated drivers off the roads this Memorial Day weekend, offering free rides and tow services to Georgia motorists.

"We want to make sure everyone gets home safe this Memorial Day weekend," said Joanna Newton, program manager for AAA Public Relations.

She said motorists, who suspect they are too impaired to operate a motor vehicle safely, should take advantage of the free ride and tow service, "as a last resort."

"Drivers should have a designated driver, or a number to a cab service before calling AAA," said Newton. "But, in the event the driver gets stuck, please call AAA for a ride home."

Newton said AAA's goal is to keep all motorists safe this holiday weekend. "It's not all about protecting the drunk driver, but protecting everyone on the road."

Since, the "Tow to Go" program began in 1998, Newton said, 13,600 intoxicated drivers have been "safely" removed from the roadways. She said, "thanks" to Budweiser partnering with AAA, the group has been able to prevent many restaurants and bars from over-serving alcoholic beverages to patrons during the Memorial Day weekend.

"Budweiser has been with us since the beginning, and they have been really great in making this program successful." said Newton.

Newton said access for motorists to the 24-hour "free ride and tow" services began Friday, May 27. That access will last through Monday, May 31.

She added that motorists, who want to take advantage of the service, do not have to be AAA members to use it, and that all calls are confidential.

For a free ride and tow home, motorists can call: 1-800-AAA-HELP, or (1-800-222-4357).

"If someone decides to get drunk, we don't want them getting behind the wheel, so please call AAA," said Newton.