The days when the LC sent gravely worded notices to bars, restaurants and markets warning them to card every single booze-buying customer regardless of age may be over, but your Department of Liquor Control is still hard at work prosecuting licensees for serving alcohol to a customer “who was at the time under the influence.”
Like Maui Brewing Company in Kahana. At the Sept. 7, 2006 LC Board of Adjudication hearing, they got fined $2,000 (half of which was suspended pending no similar violations for a year) for serving an alleged drunk back nearly a year earlier.
According to deputy prosecuting attorney Jeffrey Temas, in the early evening hours of Dec. 9, 2005, Guy Becker finished his beer at Maui Brew Co., then a few minutes later got into an automobile accident on Honoapi`ilani Highway. When the LC questioned him at the station, Becker said in “rambling” speech that earlier that day he’d drank beer at home “in an amount he could not recall,” then went to Brew Co. and had one beer and an order of ribs, left for a short time, then returned and consumed one more beer before attempting to drive home. Becker added that, “he knew he was too intoxicated to drive.”
But at the Sept. 7 hearing, owner Garrett Marrero said he and his staff had no idea Becker was drunk. “He didn’t look impaired,” he said. “He was text-messaging with one hand. I can barely do it with two hands.”
Board Vice Chairwoman Marilyn Chapman asked Marrero if he had fired the bartender on duty that night.
“Absolutely not,” Marrero said. Saying the bartender was “excellent,” Marrero added that on the night in question, he had been at the restaurant and had shaken hands with the allegedly drunk customer and couldn’t put the blame on the bartender’s shoulders.