Your mom wasn't lying to you: New Year's Eve is one of the most dangerous nights of the year to be on the road.
A 2007 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that the number of fatal accidents climbs more than 50 percent on the last night of the year compared to other nights. That's why the Houston Police are instituting another no-refusal weekend to curb drunk driving over the holiday.
But this year you don't have to worry about how to balance your celebrations with being safe. AAA is offering their Tipsy Tow service for free to all drivers — not just members — from 6 p.m. on Dec. 30 through 6 a.m. on Jan. 1.
Keep in mind this is a free tow and not a cab or a service call: AAA will not take impaired drivers to any location besides a home or a hotel.
For a free tow and ride home, the AAA number to call is 1-800-222-4357. Ask for a "tipsy tow" and an emergency roadside services truck will come to your location and take you and your car anywhere within 10 miles for free. Tows can be over 10 miles as well but the user will have to pay the excess mileage charges.
Keep in mind this is a free tow and not a cab or a service call: AAA says that they will not take impaired drivers to any location besides a home or a hotel in which they are a guest — that means no trying to get to another bar, bro. Changing tires, delivering gasoline or transporting more than a single person will constitute a normal tow service with a standard rate.
If you don't want to haul your car around, there's another way to get home for free on Saturday night. Houston's METRO service is offering free bus and rail rides from 6 p.m. on Saturday until 6 a.m. Sunday morning, and rail rides are free all day Sunday courtesy of Reliant Energy, just like they are for every Texans home game. (The Texans host the Titans at noon on Sunday.)
Looking for an even easier solution? Lots of the parties at bars or restaurants around town include a discounted rate at a nearby hotel, so you can go hard all night and crash without worrying about transport. The Capitol at St. Germain has a deal with the Magnolia, for example, and hotel events like those at the Hyatt and La Torretta include rooms packages.
And of course you can always be responsible the same way people are every other weekend of the year: By designating a sober driver or calling for a cab.
After all, you'd hate to start 2012 with anything worse than a hangover.