14 March 2011






Joanna Newton, Senior Project Manager, Public & Government Relations, AAA Auto Club South, (813) 289-5859 office, (813) 787-6886 cell, JNewton@AAASouth.com

Mandy Llanes, Southeast Region Director, Consumer Awareness & Education, Anheuser-Busch Companies, (305)323-9737 cell



Forty-five percent of motorists admit to driving within a few hours of drinking, in a recent AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey

TAMPA, Fla. (March 14, 2011) – AAA Auto Club South and Budweiser will protect roadways on St. Patrick’s Day weekend with the Tow to Go program that has safely removed more than 13,500 drunk drivers off roadways since it started in 1998. Anyone can call for a Tow to Go ride Thursday through Sunday, March 17 – 20.

AAA and Budweiser encourage individuals to plan for a safe St. Patrick’s Day weekend and choose a designated driver or call Tow to Go for a safe ride home, rather than allow anyone to drive whose sobriety is in question. In a recent AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey, 45 percent of respondents said they drove within a few hours of drinking at some point in the past 12 months. The main reasons cited by those who said they drove after drinking were they believed they were not intoxicated (77%) or they only had to drive a short distance (31%).

"No one should have to take unnecessary risks after drinking alcohol, especially since there are so many options for a safe ride home," said Ed Schatzman, senior vice president, Automotive Services, AAA Auto Club South.

Tow to Go provides a confidential ride home and tow – FREE of charge – to anyone who may have had too much to drink and needs a ride from a bar or restaurant by simply calling 1-800-AAA-HELP. Services are now offered throughout the states of Florida, Georgia, and West and Middle Tennessee.

“AAA wants everyone on the roads to get home safely and if some folks will not plan ahead and choose a designated driver or call a cab, then we are here to make sure they don’t get behind the wheel and hurt themselves or anyone else while driving home to their families on St. Patrick’s Day weekend,” said Schatzman.

“Don’t just rely on luck to get you home safely this St. Patrick’s Day,” said Kathy Casso, vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility, Anheuser-Busch. “Adults should plan ahead to ensure they’ve arranged a safe ride home, which is why we’re offering Tow to Go this weekend.”

Designated Driver Planning Tips:

  • Choose a designated driver who is not going to drink; select a driver at the beginning of the night.
  • Once the designated driver is selected, turn over your keys before the party begins.
  • Program the numbers of cab companies in your cell phone before going out in case your designated driver doesn’t come through for you.


The AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey was conducted online among residents living in AAA Auto Club South territory from February 8 -11. A total of 635 residents completed the survey. The survey has a maximum margin of error of +/- 3.9 percentage points.  Overall, survey responses are weighted by age within state to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total population, 18 years of age and older in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.

AAA Auto Club South has 79 branch offices serving more than 4.1 million members in Florida, Georgia, West and Middle Tennessee and Puerto Rico. Since its founding in 1938, AAA Auto Club South has worked to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve travel safety.

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AAA Auto Club South, 1515 N West Shore Blvd, Tampa, FL 33607-4505 United States

Call Tow to Go for a FREE ride home for you and your vehicle if you find yourself unable to get a safe ride home: 1-800-AAA-HELP.