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Boston Valets May Soon Be Able To Keep a Drunk’s Car Keys

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WBZ-TV's Bill Shields Bill Shields
Bill Shields is a general assignment reporter for WBZ-TV News. He...
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WALTHAM (CBS) – Valets take your keys to park your car, but should they be able to keep them if you’ve had too much to drink? Boston may turn to them to keep the roads safe.

City Councilor Rob Consalvo of Hyde Park is proposing a plan that would require parking valet companies to keep a customer’s key if he or she has had too much to drink.

“We hold the bartenders and waiters and waitresses responsible,” says City Councilor Rob Consalvo. “They’re required by law to shut people off who are too drunk but then when they do that they send people out to get their cars from the valet, it’s a loophole that doesn’t make sense.”

In November of 2010, 23-year-old Andy Prior was killed by a drunk driver. Colin Ratu said he was blacked out drunk yet a parking lot valet gave him his keys anyway. He hit and killed prior who was on a scooter.

John Mansfield, of Boston Valet Inc. says valets don’t have much interaction with customers.

He says, “If somebody is waiting on the inside, they are running to their car we can’t tell how intoxicated they are.”

Mansfield’s company provides valets for a number of Boston restaurants. He agrees a falling down drunk should not be given the keys to a car, but says his employees need legal protection.

“We need to come together to make sure our liabilities are looked after,” says Mansfield.

Still, it appears the city council will soon come up with an ordinance, giving valets the authority to keep a drunk’s car keys.

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