Some people like to knock the Maui County Department of Liquor Control for coming down hard on locally owned bars and restaurants while leaving all the big resorts alone. A glance over a year’s worth of LC Board of Adjudication agendas shows precious few resorts falling into their gun sights, but it does occasionally happen.
For instance, on July 29, 2005, the LC sent an 18-year-old female decoy on a sting operation against the small retail store in Wailea’s Diamond Resort: 15 acres of luxury offering 72 Japanese-themed suites. That she was able to buy two 12-ounce cans of Heineken explains why the store’s general manager had to appear before the LC board on Feb. 2, 2006
Pleading no contest to one charge of serving liquor to a minor, the GM offered a couple details about the sting that neither deputy prosecuting attorney Andrew Martin nor LC Director Franklyn Silva refuted or even acknowledged during the hearing.
According to the GM, the minor used by the LC for the sting didn’t simply walk into the store, head to the refrigerator, grab a couple cans of beer, then walk to the cashier and offer up some cash. Instead, the GM told the board that the minor talked a lot to the cashier—so much so that she felt “distracted.”
In addition, when the cashier asked to see the girl’s ID, the minor decoy apparently kept it in her wallet and placed her finger over the card’s bright red stripe saying “Under 21 until Dec. 2, 2007.” Of course, it was the cashier’s responsibility to ask the girl to remove the ID from her wallet and hand it to her—which the GM admitted the cashier never did—but still, there’s no denying the technique was a tad sneaky.
Because this was Diamond Resort’s first conviction for anything, the board fined them $2,000 but suspended half that amount if they can avoid serving another minor for a year.