Eight beers. Three violations. One lost job. And, ultimately, $6,000 in fines. All of that from one undercover teenager in the span of a few weeks.
There were four cases on the docket at the February 3 LC Adjudication Board meeting and three stemmed from minor decoy stings, all carried out by the same decoy—an unnamed 19-year-old male born on July 3, 1990. (The prosecutor used to read the names of decoys in his case summaries, until we started printing them in this space.)
Sting one took place on June 4, 2010 at Wailuku’s Green Leaf Sports Bar & Grill. The decoy sat down at the bar, ordered a Bud Light and gave his ID to the bartender when asked. The bartender looked at the ID “for approximately 12 seconds,” and served the kid the beer. “I went the wrong way on the numbers,” she later told investigators.
“I’m retarded,” she reportedly added. “I totally made a big mistake.” It was a mistake that got her fired.
Stings two and three took place in Kihei on the night of June 24. At approximately 6:15pm, the decoy entered Blackie’s Pit Stop and grabbed a six-pack of Corona. The cashier took the decoy’s ID and “entered numbers into a calculator,” before selling him the beer. Her employers were more lenient, suspending her for three days and putting her through re-training.
Finally, at around 8:45pm, the decoy walked into Maui Thai Restaurant on South Kihei Road, took a seat by the window where LC field officers Chad Gardanier and James Lloy could see him and ordered a Heineken. The store’s owner, Boua Southammavont—who later said he had family visiting and was distracted—checked the decoy’s ID and returned with the drink. Like the other venues, he was hit with a $2,000 fine, $1,000 suspended.
It’s worth noting that Hawaii IDs are printed in vertical rather than horizontal format until the holder turns 21. So you don’t even need to know arithmetic, just basic geometry. Either way, for the 19-year-old decoy and his LC chaperones, it added up to a busy month. – JS