Minor Violations - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

July 14, 2008

Minor Violations

225 restaurants and bars were surveyed or tested, if you will, and 106 served alcohol to someone under the age of 21. That's 47% who failed the test. Are you kidding me? This liquor commission sting operation proved that we have a serious issue here with either blatant disregard or apparent nonchalance to the laws of the land.

Last year, the State Liquor Commission handed out 329 citations to bars and restaurants for serving drinks to underage youths, about the same total it handed out in 2006. Maybe establishments aren't taking those citations seriously enough, as this latest sting/test effort over several months last year found a staggering 106 violators out of 225 places that serve alcohol.

To suggest that businesses take the law more seriously is a gross understatement. Fines of $1,000 or so apparently aren't punitive enough, or else waiters and servers simply aren't diligent in their efforts or being held more accountable by their bosses. Either way, more needs to be done. This isn't about education any more. Everyone knows the law- including the offenders. Using staged events to prove the point only reinforces that penalties need to be more severe. We don't need any more news stories about deadly crashes or brawls and underage drinking coming together, do we? Think about it.

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