Not long ago I was talking with a friend of mine who works security at a local bar about the County of Maui’s liquor rules. Specifically, we were talking about the Liquor Control Adjudication Board’s recent decision to suspend Paradice Bluz’s liquor license for 15 days for over-serving a customer who later died in an automobile accident.
The board’s reasoning behind such a harsh punishment—Paradice Bluz had no priors, and typical first time offenses for overservice can bring between $2,000 and $6,000 in fines—was simply that the club never cut off and ejected the increasingly intoxicated customer. And this was my friend’s point: a bar that tosses someone who they tag as being drunk can’t be prosecuted for overservice later if that customer gets into an accident or arrested for driving under the influence.
This is logical and would seem to be the intent of the county’s liquor rules, but there’s at least one disturbing example of the LC going after a club that did toss an intoxicated customer.
In February 2005, bouncers at Moose McGillycuddy’s in Lahaina watched one customer who seemed to be intoxicated. When they confirmed to their satisfaction that he was intoxicated, they threw him out. A little while later the customer got into a minor traffic accident in a nearby parking lot and was arrested for driving under the influence.
That December, the LC hauled Moose’s before the Adjudication Board for alleged overservice, even though club security had removed the intoxicated customer from the premises. Moose’s pled not guilty, and though they were completely exonerated following a multi-hour trial, the club had to spend a considerable sum on legal fees for a case that should never have been brought in the first place.