I haven’t been to an actual Liquor Control Adjudication Board case hearing since Nov. 8, 2007. This is mostly because the LC hasn’t held any case hearings since Nov. 8, 2007, and thinking back, that wasn’t really a big deal, since it dealt with just a single licensee who was pleading no contest to one count of serving minors and one count of over-service.
It didn’t used to be this way. Back in 2004, when I started this column, the board held case hearings every month, laying out three, four or even more licensees on a variety of charges—serving minors, getting caught in stings, serving intoxicated customers and even having too many people in an aisle. Yeah, that actually came up once.
The LC usually runs its minor decoy stings during the summer months, but they must have been nailing dozens of establishments because I remember cases involving minor decoys popping up year-round. (The LC used to name the 18 and 19-year-olds they used as decoys in their reports and even hearing agendas, until I started printing the names.)
Anyway, vacation time is apparently over. On Feb. 7, the Adjudication Board will reconvene for an actual case hearing. It’s not going to be a busy hearing, given that just two licensees are up on charges: Nachos Grande in Honokowai for allegedly getting caught in a minor decoy sting and Kahului Ale House for allegedly serving a minor. The former is pleading guilty, the later no contest—a distinction with little meaning, as the board will let both establishments make a statement.
It’s not clear whether either case will point to a larger issue of significance (ie, be newsworthy). But what is clear is that this week I get to go back to work.