It was more than a year ago when a 19-year-old Liquor Control minor decoy walked into Lahaina Shell on Mill St., pulled a 40 of Miller Genuine Draft out of the cooler and walked up to the counter. The cashier ran the decoy’s ID through the register, which promptly rejected it. As the decoy walked away, the cashier suddenly yelled out, “You need to be one year older,” punched another, older birth date into the machine and then rang up the sale.
On Sept. 7, 2006, the case finally came up before the LC’s Board of Adjudication. Al Gustavson, president of Goose’s Edge, Inc., which owns Lahaina Shell, plea bargained at the last second to plead no contest to one charge of serving a minor in exchange for the LC dropping another count of failing to check ID. When offered the chance to speak, Gustavson first asked Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey Temas if the cashier had ever been prosecuted for selling the beer to the minor.
“I’m glad you asked me that,” said Temas. “I don’t have that in front of me.”
“See, that’s the crux of the problem,” said Gustavson. “That was his responsibility—it should not be put on me. I’m guilty in the sense that it was my employee [who sold the beer] but I think the whole thing should be thrown out. Goose’s Edge didn’t sell [the minor] the liquor, he sold him the liquor… I’d love to have you make a statement and go after this guy and back off the licensee.”
Board member Glenn Kunitake not so gently reminded Gustavson that he, as the owner, was responsible for all his employees’ actions, which Gustavson agreed was correct. But the board didn’t seem to be in a mood to push the point beyond that, and only fined Gustavson $1,000, which is the mandatory minimum for such a conviction.