Tipsy Tow service on New Year's Eve

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PHOENIX -- AAA Arizona is offering its popular "Tipsy Tow" service on New Year's Eve.

The service will be available starting at 6 p.m. on New Year's Eve through 6 a.m. on New Year's Day.

All it takes is a call to 1-800-AAA-HELP (1-800-222-4357) and the words, "I need a Tipsy Tow." You can get a free ride home -- up to 10 miles -- for you and your car, and you don't even have to be an AAA member.

While you cannot schedule a Tipsy Tow ahead of time, you can be prepared by having the number handy, perhaps saved in your cell phone.

Launched in 2009, Tipsy Tow is the only free program of its kind in Arizona.

While the tow truck operators will take the driver, one passenger, and the driver's vehicle to the driver's home, they will not provide transportation to another drinking establishment, event or any other location. The one exception to the destination rule is a hotel where the driver is already staying or is planning to stay.

Trips longer than 10 miles will be charged at the towing company's standard rate.

According to a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Survey, 17 million Americans admitted to drinking and driving at least once in the past year. Experts say it doesn't take much alcohol to cause impaired driving. For some people,  it's as little as one or two drinks.

Under Arizona's current DUI laws, which will be changing on Jan. 1, a first-time DUI conviction can cost more than $10,000 in fines, penalties, restitution, ignition interlock fees, legal fees and increased insurance costs.