As is not really well known, the Maui County Department of Liquor Control enforces crowd control regulations on liquor licensees. Many jurisdictions are more than happy to let the local fire department handle issues of whether too many people are crowding into an establishment at a given time.
In theory, establishments that don’t serve alcohol could get crowded as well, though I have no idea why. In those places, the LC has no jurisdiction and would never see if there were too many people crowding the lanes and making it impossible for people to escape in case of fire or another emergency.
But Maui’s different. Here, the LC gets to handle the crowded aisles of all liquor establishments, while the fire department worries about them everywhere else. It’s quite a division of labor.
LC violations of this type around here are rare, but not unknown. At the Apr. 6 Board of Adjudication hearing, Kihei’s Tiki Lounge will plead no contest to one charge of violating Section 08-101-90(b) of the Rules of the Liquor Commission: failing to “ensure that aisles or walkways are cleared of any congestion or blockage which would prevent any person from moving freely within any aisle or walkway.”
It happened late on July 1, 2005, at about 1:15 in the morning. It was Friday night/Saturday morning, and Tsunami in Wailea had uncharacteristically closed early. That let a flood of people into Kihei, and many of them made their way to Tiki Lounge.
“We got bombarded,” owner Gabriel Sallard said. “Tsunami’s closed early, at midnight. We had no warning. We were swamped. The LC came in and took pictures.”
Hence the no contest plea, which also comes on the same hearing day that Tiki Lounge is pleading not guilty to two counts relating to an over-service charge.