Old people of Maui rejoice: very soon now you will no longer have to reach into your purses and wallets and show your IDs to upstart bartenders or servers anymore when you order your Manhattans or Old Fashioneds or whatever it is that you drink these days. That’s because the Maui County Liquor Commission voted unanimously during its Sept. 13, 2006 hearing to revoke the rule requiring that eveyone get carded.
That’s right folks: from now on, bars, restaurants, convenience stores and supermarkets will be just like every other county in Hawai`i, only required to ask for identification from customers who look under 21. For all the controversy surrounding the LC’s rule that all establishments duly licensed to sell alcohol must check every single customer’s identification regardless of whether they resemble Lindsay Lohan or Don Ho, the Liquor Commission dispensed with the rule in just 25 minutes.
The rule’s been on the books since the late 1990’s, but a series of newspaper articles, both in this paper and The Maui News, highlighted vocal and growing opposition to the rule. Though a longtime defender of the rule, it was LCDirector Franklyn Silva and his staff who recommended to the Liquor Commission that they dump the rule. In fact, Silva himself told the commissioners to leave the decision on who to card up to the licensee, “which is where it should be.”
Seven residents ultimately testified before the commission, and all were in agreement that the rule needed to go.
“This is the first hearing I’ve ever been to where nobody testified against us,” said commission chairperson Manuel Moniz, Jr. “This is something I think is proper and will benefit us all.”
The proposed rule change now goes to Mayor Alan Arakawa for final approval. After the vote, Commissioner Ron McOmber joked that because this is an election year, Arakawa’s approval probably won’t take much time.