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Should valet parking attendants be responsible for drunk drivers?




Valet parking in the Palazzo, Las Vegas.
Valet parking in the Palazzo, Las Vegas.
Old Shoe Woman/Flickr (cc by-nc-nd)

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A tragic case in Boston has prompted a controversial proposal to stop drunk drivers. A man who was "black-out drunk" picked up his keys from a valet and shortly thereafter collided with a 23-year-old on a scooter, killing him.

As NPR reports, Boston City Councilor Rob Consalvo says valet workers should withhold keys from drivers who appear intoxicated. He argues it's not a far stretch for valets to have the same standards as bartenders when dealing with drunk patrons. In many states, restaurateurs and servers can be held liable for serving liquor to visibly drunk customers -- it's called "dram shop" liability. However, in California, business owners are immune from civil liability, with the exception of serving minors. Still, bartenders, doormen and servers are trained to recognize when anyone should be cut off.

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Should valets be held to the same standard? Would they be able to recognize if you're inebriated?

Guest:

Robert Glassman, Attorney with Panish, Shea & Boyle LLP law firm based in Santa Monica