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Boston Valets May Be Enlisted to Help Fight Drunk Driving

In the fight against drunk driving, the city of Boston may enlist another line of defense. Currently, bartenders and establishments that serve alcohol can be held liable if they over serve an already drunk patron. If an establishment continues to serve a drunk patron and that drunk patron gets behind the wheel and injures or kills another driver, passenger or pedestrian, the establishment that served the alcohol can be held liable under Dram Shop laws.

A new proposal by Boston City Councilor Rob Consalvo would require or authorize parking valets to keep the keys of intoxicated persons. As part of the proposal, Councilor Consalvo said that parking valets would be trained to identify the indicators that a person is drunk, much like bartenders and restaurant managers are, according to news channel WHDH in Boston.

WHDH found that many valet companies already try to prevent drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel by offering to call or hail a cab. Dan Donahue of Lenox Hotel told WHDH: "It's kind of a sticky issue. Our valets obviously - if somebody's obviously drunk, they won't give them the keys, and it's common sense to put them in a cab. We pay for the cab."

By enlisting parking valets as a line of defense against drunk driving, there may be an opportunity for those that are either injured or lose a loved one in a car accident involving an intoxicated driver to hold parking valets and the companies they work for responsible for the injuries that are incurred.

Source: "Councilor proposes law to prevent drunk driving," WHDH.com, 2/6/12

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