Parking Valets Could Be Drafted Into Drunk-Driving War

By Hunter R. Slaton 02/24/12

A Boston city councilor wants to require valets to screen for those who've had too much to be on the road.

Will a breathalyzer become a tool of the valet's
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Bartenders and wait staff have to be careful about “overserving” their patrons—if they’re not, and a soused customer gets into a vehicle and kills someone, not only the business but the employee could be held liable. Now, after a recent local incident in which a 23-year-old on a motor scooter was killed by a drunk driver, Boston City Councilor Rob Consalvo wants to require the same of “the last line of defense”: parking valets. The Beantown tragedy hit home for Ultimate Parking executive Josh Lemay, as the young man who was run down had been a babysitter for Lemay’s children. The driver later admitted to being “blackout drunk” and couldn’t believe he’d been given his car keys by the valet. Nevertheless, Lemay doesn’t think that requiring valets to determine whether or not someone is sober enough to drive—and holding them liable if they make the wrong assessment—is the answer. Why? Because valets are often young, underpaid and don’t have the training that bartenders and servers get. But Councilor Consalvo argues that this situation is no different, and that people were initially opposed to bartenders and servers being held responsible too. He says, “It sounds crazy now…but it would work and it could be done, and after six months it would just be like, ‘Of course we do that.’”

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Hunter Slaton is the esports managing editor for Blizzard Entertainment. You can find hunter on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter.