Two establishments that couldn’t be more different: the elegant, pricey Longhi’s in Lahaina and the dimly lit dive Life’s a Beach in Kihei. Rarely appearing in the same sentence, cases against the two make up the totality of the Jan. 4, 2007 Liquor Control Board of Adjudication agenda.
In both cases, the charge is the same—allowing the consumption of liquor by someone already under the influence. Though Longhi’s is doing what most establishments do—pleading no contest—Life’s a Beach is fighting the charge.
The wording of the complaints against the establishments are all but identical, including even the vaguely outlined times of the alleged overservice. “On August 25, 2006 and August 26, 2006 between the approximate times of 11:25 p.m. and 12:02 a.m…” reads the complaint against Longhi’s. The charge against Life’s a Beach is even wider, alleging that overservice took place between the “approximate times of 6:30 p.m. and 10:15 p.m.”
For overservice to stick, the time given by LC investigators should be a bit more specific. But the LC’s overservice cases are typically much lazier, relying on circumstantial evidence and implication: a person says he was sober when he walked in, and he was clearly drunk when he was arrested 20 minutes after he left, so he must have been drunk when they served him, right?
In 2006, 10 cases of alleged overservice went before the board. Of those, the board found nine defendants guilty (the vast majority had pleaded no contest, which brings an automatic guilty verdict). The remaining licensee—Ali`i Nui Charters—was found not guilty, most likely because the prosecution had failed to show that a customer had been drunk at the time of last service.