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Auto club takes initiative to curb drunk driving accidents in California this New Year's Eve

Posted On Thu, December 31, 2009

In an attempt to reduce the number of alcohol-related incidents that consistently threaten motorists every New Year's Eve, A California auto club has announced it will be offering free rides for those who aren't fit to be behind the wheel after a night of drinking.

Beginning at 6 p.m. on New Year's Eve and lasting until 11:59 p.m. on January 1 of 2010, the Automobile Club of Southern California has announced it will be offering free "Tipsy Tow" rides by tow truck operators of up to seven miles for intoxicated individuals and their vehicles to their homes.

The effort is being spearheaded in an attempt to reduce the number of DUI accidents and fatalities that occur throughout the state. Dr. Steven Block, a traffic safety researcher for the auto club said that while DUI deaths have declined in the state since peaking in 2005, 1,029 still were killed in alcohol-related accidents in 2008.

It was also estimated that those caught driving while intoxicated faced an average cost of $13,500, including fines, penalties, and increased auto insurance rates.

"It takes only one or two drinks to slow steering, braking judgment and reaction time," Bloch said. "Drivers should be aware that the CHP and law enforcement agencies use extra patrols and check points to look for alcohol-impaired drivers during the holiday season."

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