I don’t know why anyone in Maui County would want a license to sell alcohol. The risks of getting involved in investigations, hearings, legal bills, fines, as well as possible suspensions and revocations are just too high to comprehend.
In the County of Maui, a liquor license holder can get the shaft for serving as little as a single drink to a customer who happens to be intoxicated. This customer may be drunk but not sway like a flag or slur his speech like a stroke victim; he may be hammered but not act belligerent or emotional; he may be a threat to innocent people on the roads but not behave any differently than someone who’s sober.
Three out of the four establishments listed on the Sept. 7, 2006 Liquor Control Adjudication Board agenda are accused of serving drunks. Two of the three, Maui Brewing Company in Kahana and Club Diane in Kahului, are pleading no contest. The third, South Shore Tiki Lounge in Kihei, insists it’s not guilty and wants a full hearing.
Short of stuffing a breathalyzer into every customer’s mouth upon entry to a bar, restaurant or convenience store, there’s no way to tell with any scientific, verifiable, repeatable accuracy whether the person who wants to buy booze has already had too much.
You can go to classes and read guidebooks and learn to spot watery, bloodshot eyes all you want—some people just don’t look drunk when they are, and they’re the ones that should scare the hell out of every license holder in the county.
I suppose there are risks in every venture: crime, weather, market forces and political climates could all make life bad for business. Still, there are protections every business owner can take to alleviate such risks. But where drunk, completely irrational human beings are concerned, each one a potential runaway torpedo, ready to blow the establishment apart, why bother?