The owners of A-1 Towing are doing their part once again to stop drunk driving on New Year’s Eve by offering free rides and free tows. This marks the 18th year that owners Nicole Candelaria and Shane Swett have offered the free service on New Year’s Eve.

The two have seen first-hand what damage drinking and driving causes. Nicole’s brother, Cal Ray Candelaria, was killed by a drunk driver over 20 years ago. This sparked the idea to give back to the community by offering free rides to those who have been drinking for the holiday.

Nicole says the choice to provide free rides and free tows on this particular day was spurred by the knowledge that no other free ride services were offered for the day, even though it is a holiday commonly associated with alcohol consumption. To prevent DUI’s, they took matters into their own hands and started offering free rides themselves.

From 5 p.m. until 3 a.m., volunteers will be on-call to provide rides to anyone who needs one. Nicole says that while the hours are put in place, anyone needing a ride that day and early morning can call any time.

In addition, those who want to ensure their vehicles get home safely will be provided a free tow or a sober driver to take the vehicle to a safe location. Nicole says the service will take people anywhere they want to go. They will pick people up and/or drop them off at a house, apartment, bar, or restaurant. The idea is to keep people away from the wheel if they have been drinking, something they all take very seriously.

“We’ll take you anywhere you want to go, so you don’t have to drive,” says Nicole.

A-1 Towing usually has between 10 and 15 volunteers for the night, says Nicole. This helps to prevent a long wait for a ride. She says the longest anyone has had to wait for a ride was around 20 minutes, and that was during a rush.

Nicole says that the service has become a popular one, with the company providing rides for just under 600 people on their busiest New Year’s Eve.

Anyone wanting a ride from A-1 towing on New Year’s Eve can contact them at (307) 760-1213.