It isn’t every month that the Maui County Liquor Control Adjudication Board takes on two bars accused of serving the same intoxicated guy on the same night. But this is that month: on Aug. 4, 2005, the LC’s Board will take up exactly that.
That would be strange enough. But what makes these cases especially strange is the fact that Jeremiah Michael McDougall, the intoxicated man the Lahaina establishments Hecocks and the Sly Mongoose allegedly served, is dead. He died in a car accident in Waikapu the night the over-serving allegedly took place.
McDougall, a 28-year-old Wailuku resident, was a backseat passenger in a car with two friends heading home after a long day of partying. At 2:25 a.m. on the morning of Jan. 26, 2005 the car went out of control and hit a utility pole. McDougall, who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, died at the scene. The seatbelt-wearing driver and front passenger were injured, but not seriously.
McDougall’s death was a tragedy, but Hecocks and the Sly Mongoose had nothing to do with it. Far from drunk, the driver in the car was reportedly a designated driver who hadn’t been drinking.
In any case, Hecocks is pleading no contest—which is probably why it’s only facing two counts: actually serving McDougall and “fail[ing] to exercise due care.” Often, the LC will drop a count in exchange for a no contest plea.
But the Goose, which is facing both the above and an additional count of merely letting McDougall onto the premises, is pleading not guilty. That means a trial, which should prove very interesting, considering that the most important witness, McDougall, won’t be testifying.