We’ll get to more sordid tales from the LC in a moment, but first we want to take this opportunity (presented by a change in authorship, not intention) to clarify what this column is about.
It’s our firm belief that a public agency—especially one like the LC that’s charged with regulating something as potentially volatile as the sale and consumption of alcohol—should try above all to increase public safety. And they should do it with a high level of consistency, transparency and pragmatism.
When the LC falls short in this regard, this column looks to step in and point that out. We’re not in the business of attacking people just for the sake of it, but if a newspaper doesn’t work to red flag government entities for their missteps, who will?
With that in mind, here’s a little tidbit from the most recent meeting of the LC Adjudication Board: Giovanni Cappelli of Casanova was seated before the board on charges of allowing an underage kid to slip into his establishment with an ill-gotten wristband. The kid claimed to have obtained the band—used at Casanova to identify the coming-and-going smoker set after they’re initially ID’d—from a friend. (Though the kid also claimed to have chugged 30 beers after blowing a rather pedestrian .093 on a Breathalyzer, so take his word for what it’s worth.)
But here’s where it gets interesting: Seems Cappelli offers his bouncers a $100 bounty for every fake ID they confiscate. He then photocopies those IDs and sends them to the Maui PD. He claims to have filed 12 such reports in the last year, with no arrests or prosecutions having been made.
Effective enforcement works at both ends. But while the fake ID-wielding scofflaws slipped away, Mr. Cappelli’s establishment was hit with a $2,000 fine, half of it suspended.