Liquor Compliance Improves 08/02/00

PHONE: 961-2350
AUGUST 2, 2000


Compliance with Hawaii’s prohibition against selling liquor to minors has improved over the past year, a police check on compliance by retail establishments in East Hawaii shows.

Using a $5,568 mini-grant from the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, Hilo police checked 48 retail establishments in East Hawaii from June 20 through July 29, 2000. Of these, only seven of the stores, or 14.6 percent, sold liquor to decoy minors.

This compares favorably with 32 of 69 establishments, or 46.4 percent, that sold liquor to minors during a similar compliance check conducted in June 1999.

According to Sergeant James Sanborn, head of the East Hawaii Community Policing Project, all of the 48 establishments this year checked for proper identification, but the seven still sold liquor to minors. Three of the seven employees who violated the law were found to be liquor license cardholders.

The seven establishments in which liquor was sold to minors were Sure Save in Keaau, Wiki Wiki Mart in Orchidland, Minit Stop/Tesoro on Leilani Street in Hilo, Hilo Tropical Mart, Fast Fuels in Keaau, Beltway Service in Honokaa and Hilo Bay Liquors. Sure Save was the only repeat offender.

Sanborn said that after last year’s mandatory checks, the County Department of Liquor Control coordinated several mandatory education classes for retail establishments. He attributed this year’s higher compliance rate to the classes.

The mini-grant this year provided for overtime funds for a supervisor and officers, incentives and meals for the volunteer minors and roadblock equipment.

Section 281-78(b)(1)(a) of the Hawaii Revised Statutes prohibits selling, serving or furnishing liquor to any minor at any time or under any circumstance.

The sale of liquor to minors is a misdemeanor. Employees who violate the law are subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 or more than six months in jail or both. Retail establishments in which liquor is sold to minors must face action by the Liquor Adjudication Board.

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