Tuesday, June 12, 2001

Project PAU nets
7 retailers selling
alcohol to minors

By Rosemarie Bernardo

Project PAU is doing its job: making sure stores do not sell liquor to minors through stinglike operations.

Liquor Commission Chairman John Spierling said, "It (Project PAU) has worked very, very effectively."

The commission fined several businesses Thursday for selling alcohol to minors.

The fines were the result of a sting by Project PAU -- Preventing Alcohol Use Among Youth -- in March with four youths between 18 and 20. They were randomly sent to stores to try to buy alcohol.

Investigators from the Liquor Commission and police officers accompanied the youths and then cited the stores that sold them liquor.

Chu Lan Kwock, secretary of the commission, said, "It's a wake-up call for both sides -- for retailers, licensees and employees."

Fuji Chevron Car Wash, Handi-Pantry, Kahuku Arco, Tesoro, Wahba-Arco, Daiei on Kaheka Street and Times Supermarket on Beretania Street were fined from $1,000 to $2,000 each.

Cashiers who sold the alcohol were either suspended or terminated by their employers.

Project PAU was launched in March 2000 with a $360,000 federal grant for 18 months.

The program was created through the help of the Health Department's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division, Prevention and Control Program of the University of Hawaii Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, Honolulu Police Department and Honolulu Liquor Commission.

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