Would You Want A Valet To Tell You You're Too Drunk To Drive?

Consumers pay valets for a certain service: Taking charge of a vehicle, parking it until it’s needed, and returning it to the owner undamaged. But one Boston politician says valets should be responsible for another valuable service — preventing drunk drivers from hitting the road.

City Councilor Rob Consalvo spoke to NPR about the idea to have valets withhold keys from drivers who seem drunk. He cites a drunk driver who was “blackout drunk” last year and killed a 23-year-old on a scooter. The driver said he couldn’t believe the valet guy had handed him his car keys.

“I was stunned. I said to myself, ‘Yeah, how could he have?’ ” Consalvo says, adding that he believes valets are the last line of defense and it’s a “no-brainer” that they keep keys from drunk drivers.

But skeptics of the proposal say 18- or 20-year-old valets shouldn’t hold that responsibility, because unlike bartenders, they’re not trained to identify intoxicated people, and often only have a few seconds of face time with each driver.

One such worker said it’s not fair to put valets in that position.

“I wouldn’t want to personally have that burden put on me, especially if I’m just just opening a door and having them get into a vehicle,” he explained.

Then there’s also the likelihood that belligerent drunks could start throwing punches at the kid who won’t give them their keys back.

What do you think?


Should Valets Be Responsible For Drunk Drivers, Too? [NPR]