Liquor Control Director Franklyn Silva is a funny guy. I can mean that in a whole bunch of ways, but here it’s literal—he can tell some funny stories. Like the one he told to the dozen or so gathered at the Oct. 19 Kiwanis Club meeting at Cary & Eddie’s Hideaway in Kahului.
“This actually happened,” he told the Kiwanis Club members as they silently finished their salads and barbecued chicken. Years ago his investigators got word that there was a soda machine dispensing beer for 75 cents in Lahaina. Apparently, it was quite popular with the kids.
So the department went looking for the machine. It didn’t take them long to find, and sure enough, it was dispensing beer. So Silva went out and rented a truck, then drove out to the machine and seized it. Then he tracked down the owner and had him arrested for providing liquor to minors.
“The guy goes to court and the judge fines him $50,” Silva said. “And then he ordered us to return the machine. I had to go rent another truck.”
Mostly Silva told the Kiwanis members—one of which was Adjudication Board Vice Chair Marilyn Chapman—a lot of background information about how the department is organized (two sections, administrative and enforcement), where it gets its marching orders (21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which ended Prohibition but asked the states to regulate the sale of alcohol) and what exactly the department is doing (minor decoy sting operations, overservice investigation and “stakeouts” where investigators “dress in tank tops and slippers” and wait in parking lots for adults to buy kids booze).
One guy asked why is alcohol impounded for 48 hours upon arrival in the state, and where it’s stored in that time.
“It’s so Customs can take a look for tax purposes,” Silva said. “And there are two warehouses. One of the warehouses is in Makawao at my house.”
What did I tell you? Funny guy.