Maui County Liquor Control Officer John McMurray spent well over an hour on the stand during the Board of Adjudication’s Dec. 1, 2005 hearing. The hearing concerned Lahaina’s Moose McGillycuddy’s, which was ultimately found not guilty on three counts relating to over-serving customer Edilberto B. Larrobis. Field Supervisor McMurray, who’s been with the LC for nearly 12 years, provided the entire prosecution case. His testimony and subsequent cross-examination provides a unique look into how LC investigators do their jobs:
• McMurray filled his report with colorful descriptions of Larrobis’ drunkenness when he tried to interview him at 2 a.m. at the Lahaina police station, but admitted on the stand that he had “no idea” what condition Larrobis had been in when he actually left Moose’s at 12:30 a.m. (Larrobis eventually pleaded guilty to driving under the influence).
•McMurray testified that he knew all about Moose’s “Green Light, Yellow Light, Red Light” program for flagging potentially drunk customers—“Moose McGillycuddy’s has a very good program,” he said—but apparently never asked anyone at Moose’s whether the program had worked in Larrobis’ case.
•McMurray told the board that he knew Moose’s kept an incident log of customer problems, but neglected to mention it in his report.
•McMurray failed to put in his report that a Maui police officer had been standing outside Moose’s door when club security guards threw out Larrobis at 12:30 and subsequently reported that Larrobis’ behavior didn’t seem excessive.
•McMurray explained that he doesn’t “know the physics” of how long it takes alcohol to get absorbed into the blood, said he didn’t think a person “had to be an expert” to tell if someone is intoxicated, but then admitted that some kind of training in alcohol absorption would probably be beneficial.
•McMurray testified that he spent 40 minutes at Moose’s on the night in question and never saw Larrobis or any potentially problematic behavior.
•McMurray admitted that he never determined when exactly Moose’s served Larrobis his last drink or what his condition might have been.