DENVER – Questions have popped up about the legality and cost of private booting in the city of Denver.
A lot of people are finding boots attached to the wheels of their vehicles, after parking in private lots – like the lot in back of Voodoo Donuts off of Colfax Avenue in Denver.
Laura Tschida and her roommate Drew Peterson discovered this the hard way.
“We were like ‘it’s going to be a quick 10 minutes in and out, let’s get some voodoo donuts’ and sure enough in 10 minutes we were booted,” Tschida said.
The lot is clearly marked with signs warning people about it being private and the punishment resulting in a boot or getting towed.
Tschida said she parked in the lot after hours, when it was empty and figured it wouldn’t be an issue. But when she and Peterson returned and saw the boot, they were caught off guard; especially when the tow truck driver approached them.
“[He] told us our only two options are: pay $100 cash right now or we’ll tow it to our tow yard and you can pay all of our other fees – which would amount to somewhere around $500,” Tschida said.
What’s more bothersome, Tschida explained, is the fact the business said it would only take cash.
“It just seemed a little odd to me, not right,” Tschida said.
The business is named ‘HotRodz.’ It has an ‘F’ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Multiple complaints were lodged against it.
When we contacted the owner, he grew irritated and eventually hung up. He did tell the FOX31 Denver Problem Solvers he has a license to use boots and the fee is capped at $100 in the city of Denver.
The Department of Excise and Licensing verified HotRodz’s license, as well as the $100 capped fee.
What’s irritating for people like Tschida and Peterson is the city’s ‘drop fee’ for towing. If your vehicle is about to be towed in the city of Denver and you arrive before it’s taken away, all you have to do is give the tow truck operator $15 and legally they have to release your vehicle to you.
If you don’t show up in time, the tow truck operator is allowed to take your vehicle to a lot and charge you a couple hundred dollars.
So, the question for Tschida and Peterson is ‘why is one fee so low and the other so high?’
We took that question to the Department of Excise and Licensing who pointed us in the direction of Denver’s City Council, who altered the ‘drop fee’ law for towing a couple of years ago.
The FOX31 Denver Problem Solvers got a hold of Councilman Wayne New and pressed him for answers. New was baffled when he heard about the price difference and promised he would take the question Tschida, Peterson and many others have to his next city council meeting.
He said he would personally investigate the difference and look into whether the city needs to lower its capped boot fee.
We’ll of course keep you updated.