Valets can't restrain drunk drivers: Lawyers
Valets have no right to physically restrain a drunk customer from driving.
Lawyer Rajan Supramaniam said: "If the valet uses force to physically restrain the driver, he could be charged with using criminal force on him.
"If the situation escalated and the two men started fighting, both could be hauled to court for affray.
"And if the situation escalated some more and the valet hit the driver, he could be charged with voluntarily causing hurt."
Commenting on the case of Mr Fabian Ong, lawyer Louis Joseph said that the valet cannot be held responsible for failing to stop him from driving away.
He said: "The valet owed Fabian no duty of care. He had turned up to drive him home, but his service was rejected."
SHOULD HAVE CALLED POLICE
Mr Joseph added that the valet could instead have called the police about the situation.
Another lawyer, Mrs Gloria James-Civetta, said an alternative is to have one of Mr Ong's friends dissuade him from getting into his car.
When asked if the valet could have conducted a citizen's arrest in a case like Mr Ong's, lawyers The New Paper spoke to all said "no".
Mr Joseph explained that while a member of public can conduct a citizen's arrest in Singapore, the situations "must be primarily based on cases of self-defence, defence of others and defence of property".
He said: "For instance, you can conduct a citizens' arrest if somebody comes towards you with a knife or if you see someone else getting assaulted in public.
"You can also do so if you see a loanshark runner setting fire to somebody's doorstep.
"These offenders can then be detained by using reasonable force."
A citizen's arrest is therefore not applicable in the case involving Mr Ong, he said.
- Shaffiq Alkhatib