The morning of Thursday, April 3, 2008 saw Kahului Ale House back at the LCBoard of Adjudication, up on one count of over-service—serving a customer who was already intoxicated. Owner Scott Metcalfe appeared and pled no contest.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Evans Smith gave a “summary” of the case, which dated back to April 2007. Unlike other prosecutors, Smith defined “summary” as reading virtually all the LC reports on the incident, taking the time include report numbers, details on who took photocopies where and even a list of every Ale House employee on duty that night, including people who worked in the kitchen and had no connection to the case whatsoever.
But Smith also managed to mention (at least five times, by my count) that customer Brandon Allen Starr consumed at least three “double Jack and Cokes” and “potentially” three Jaeger Bombs, before becoming so loud that Ale House employees cut him off and asked him to leave.
That last point—which Smith called a “red flag” that indicated Ale House had clearly violated state and county liquor laws—clearly bothered board member Joe Tanaka, who said Ale House personnel had “done the right thing” by ejecting Starr.
Then it came time for Metcalfe to plead his case. Saying that he “was in the business of selling drinks,” he then launched into a rambling story about how a single beer once made him intoxicated. Metcalfe said it’s hard to deal with the island’s “tough labor market,” donated “$100 out of my own pocket” to a former employee who lost her house in recent storms, is a member of the Maui Chamber of Commerce, has in the past helped people by taking them “canoeing” and is “getting over” owning the place.
The board ended up fining Metcalf $2,000, but suspended half that amount. The whole issue of what an establishment is supposed to do with a customer it discovers is drunk remains ambiguous and unresolved.