Update: We know which L.A. bars will be crawling with undercover cops this New Year's Eve, and we're going to tell you in the good faith that you won't use the tip-off unwisely.

Tow-truck drivers do not normally make us want to hug them and tip them and tell them they're the greatest. However, for one special night at the beginning/end of every year, all that changes.

On New Year's Eve 2010-11, when “tipsy” is a vast understatement and you're doing the wherearemykeysilostmyphone, we can bet you'll be feeling a whole lotta love for your friendly neighborhood Auto Club of Southern California.

Why? Because it's the 14th annual “Tipsy Tow” NYE showdown! All you have to do is call (800) 400-4AAA, and a tow truck will show up to drag both your vehicle and your sorry ass home. (That's ass, as in singular. No passengers; they'll have to call a cab for their respective sorry asses.)

The service runs from 6 p.m. on Dec. 31 — yes, that would be a giant fail — to a rollicking 6 a.m. the next morning. Here's the fine print, courtesy of City News Service:

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

However, because AAA doesn't want four million tipsy phone calls, officials advise:

  • designating a non-drinking driver who can get everyone home safely;
  • calling a friend or family member for a ride home if you have been drinking;
  • keeping a taxi company number in your wallet so you can call for a ride home;
  • as a party host, offer non-alcoholic drinks and provide a gift to guests who volunteer to be designated drivers; and
  • take keys away from friends and relatives who have had too much to drink.

We've tried that last one; it doesn't always end pretty. That's why AAA also recommends, in the case that a drunk designated driver (DDD) insists he or she is perfectly goddamn fine you assholes, that “bartenders, restaurant managers, party hosts or passengers of a drinking driver” take it upon themselves to call the magic number.

Believe us, an awkward ride in a truckie cab with a pissy AAA employee is well worth avoiding a New Year's Eve DUI impound debacle. Might as well get a free tow instead of a $12,000 one, right?

As long as we're talking safety, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would like us to remind you not to shoot an actual gun into the air at the stroke of midnight this year.

“ATF wants you to know that you can enjoy the festivities without placing the public in danger,'' says secret agent man John A. Torres. “We don't want to see the New Year ruined by a senseless tragedy just because someone thought it would be 'fun' to shoot a gun in the air.''

On the first day of 1998, two Angelenos were killed by falling bullets. So yeah, don't party like it's 1998, OK guys?

LA Weekly