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Ride Metro for Free on New Year's Eve, or Call for a 'Tipsy Tow'

Complementary travel will be offered 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. -- on one of the year's worst nights for drinking and driving. Auto Club towing will be available until 6 a.m.

Free rides on Los Angeles County buses and trains will be available tonight for people out celebrating New Year's Eve. Or call the Auto Club for a "Tipsy Tow."

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority will offer the free rides from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. -- on one of the year's worst nights for drinking and driving.

Rides are free on all Metro buses and trains, including the Red, Purple, Blue, Gold, Green and Orange lines. For complete route and schedule information, go to metro.net or call 323-466-3876.

The regional commuter rail, Metrolink, is not part of the same system, and no free rides will be offered.

In addition, the Automobile Club of Southern California will continue offering its free "Tipsy Tow" service tonight.

The service, being offered for the 15th straight year, will be available until 6 a.m. Sunday in the 13 counties served by the Auto Club.

According to the Auto Club, any motorist, bartender, restaurant manager, party host or passenger of a drinking driver can call 800-400-4AAA for a free tow -- of up to seven miles.

Callers should tell operators they want a Tipsy Tow, and a tow truck under contract to the Auto Club will be dispatched.

The service does not include rides for passengers and is restricted to a one-way, one-time ride to the driver's home. For distances longer than seven miles, drivers will be expected to pay the normal rate charged by the tow truck operator.

A first-time drunken driving conviction can cost $12,176 or more in fines, penalties, restitution, legal fees and increased insurance costs, according to Auto Club officials.

-- City News Service

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