Valets / Parking Attendants Responsible For Drunk Drivers?

Drunk driving victim's rights law firm, Davis Law Group, Seattle, WA.


Drunk Driving Statistics

Drunk driving and drunk driving collisions are still a huge problem in the United States. 
  • An average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before first arrest.
  • This year, 10,839 people will die in drunk-driving crashes - one every 50 minutes.

valet responsible for drunk driverShould Valets and Parking Attendants Be Required To Monitor the Intoxication Level Of Drivers?

Boston City Councilor Rob Consalvo thinks that parking attendants and valet parking workers should withhold keys from drivers who appear drunk.  His move has sparked a debate on just how practical it is to expect parking attendants to be responsible for determining if a driver is drunk.  There are a number of questions to be asked and facts to be considered:
  • Currently valets and parking attendants do not receive any sort of training on how to spot intoxication—unlike bartenders and restaurant staff.  Is it fair to make an untrained person responsible for determining intoxication?
  • A considerable portion of parking workers are 18 to 20 years of age.  Is it fair to ask these young adults to try to make such a judgment call?
  • Is the relatively short amount of time that the valet spends with a driver (just a minute or two) enough to make a judgment on possible intoxication?
  • Currently many valets at restaurants are required to inform restaurant staff if they think someone may be intoxicated and then let a trained manager make a final determination.
  • Will the increased cost of training and insurance drive up parking costs?   
  • Some people think that other workers such as coat check attendants, restaurant host/hostesses, and doormen should also be responsible for identifying drivers that may be intoxicated.  
  • Many believe that the increased costs of requiring valets to report possible DUI drivers is minimal when you consider the possible cost savings in eliminated collisions, arrests, etc.  
Data Sources:
  • Centers for Disease Control. “Vital Signs: Alcohol-Impaired Driving Among Adults — United States, 2010.” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. October 4, 2011. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6039a4.htm
  •  (NHTSA, 2009) Full cite: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. ?2008 Traffic Safety Annual Assessment ? Highlights? DOT 811 172. Washington DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2009. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811172.pdf
Chris Davis
Top-rated, award-winning, attorney practicing wrongful death & serious injury law in Seattle.
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