Free tows home offered again to keep drunk drivers off roads

Roger Ridgley Jr. is torn.

While on the one hand there is nothing he’d rather be doing than snuggling at home with his lovely wife Carol, he is also wishing for the phone to ring this weekend.

Because, if the phone rings, he will spring into action with the knowledge that he could be helping to avert roadway tragedy during the holidays.

For the 15th consecutive year, Ridgley, owner of A Tow In Paradise towing service, is offering to brave the Kaua’i roads from now through and including this Sunday, Jan. 1, New Year’s night, in order to keep someone who has had too much to drink from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and driving home.

“If you are at a party or a nightclub or bar and you have had too much to drink, give A Tow In Paradise a call and we will take you and your car to your home, free,” he said.

“No hassles, no police, and no charge.”

Ridgley said most people drive home drunk because they do not want to leave their car behind. Ridgley has the safe solution.

The only requirements are that the person be taken home and not to another party, and the car must be operable, he said.

He offers the free service “so that they don’t get in an accident and injure themselves and others, and to make sure they get home safely to their families,” he said.

He participates in the national program, T.O.W.E.D. (Towing Operators Working to Eliminate Drunk Driving).

“So remember, if you, a family member, or a friend, has had too much to drink, please call A Tow In Paradise, 245-8818,” he said.

Ridgley said folks at banks and hotels call to ask about his availability, especially on the evenings of the traditional holiday parties business owners and operators offer to employees.

As of yesterday, Thursday, Dec. 29, he had gotten no calls even though he has offered the service from Monday, Dec. 26.

The big nights are traditionally New Year’s Eve, tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 31, and New Year’s Day night, this Sunday, Jan. 1.

The most calls he has had on those two days are seven, around five years ago, when radio stations and The Garden Island both publicized the service repeatedly in the days leading up to the last holiday of one year, and the first holiday of the new year.

Carol and Roger Ridgley Jr. celebrate New Year’s the day after New Year’s, or next week and next year on Monday, Jan. 2.

And how does his wife feel about his going out alone on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day: “She’s totally cool,” he said.

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