Liquor licensees have a right to restrict attire


POSTED: Wednesday, January 13, 2010

QUESTION: I was in an outdoor drinking establishment one afternoon where patrons were being asked to remove their sunglasses in the bar. The manager and workers claimed it was part of the city's alcohol code. We complained, and they went looking through the alcohol code book but were not able to find the law, but the employees insisted they were told that patrons can't wear sunglasses in the bar. Is that right or not? It seems to me that's unconstitutional.

ANSWER: There is nothing in state law (Chapter 281 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, dealing with “;intoxicating liquor”;) or Honolulu Liquor Commission rules that prohibits the wearing of sunglasses in a licensed premise, said Anna Hirai, the commission's assistant administrator.

However, “;a licensee can establish conditions and restrictions on its patrons (attire, for example), as long as the condition or restriction”; does not discriminate on the basis of someone's race, color, disability, religion, sex, sexual orientation or ancestry, she said.

Hirai pointed to the commission rule 3-82-38.15, dealing with “;unlawful discrimination,”; which says, “;Nothing in this rule shall be construed or interpreted to prohibit a licensee from the right to deny service to any person for failure to conform to the usual and regular requirements, standards and regulations for the licensed premises so long as the denial, requirements, standards, and regulations are uniformly applied to all persons without regard to race, color, disability, religion, sex, sexual orientation or ancestry.”;

Hirai did note that this was the first time she's heard of this “;rule.”;

QUESTION: In 2010 trash pickup days in Kailua are scheduled every Saturday. But Christmas Day and New Year's Day 2011 both fall on Saturdays. Also, the Kapaa transfer station is closed on those two holidays. What will the city and county do for the residents of Kailua? In previous years we had two trash pickup days; now we have only one. Can you make sure the city's working on a plan?

ANSWER: The city Department of Environmental Services will have a plan to accommodate residents whose regular trash pickup will fall on those two holidays, but we're told it's a little too early to say what the plan will be.

You're advised to resubmit your question in December.

We answered a similar question last month from a Pearl City resident worried because his neighborhood's once-a-week trash collection fell on Christmas and New Year's days.

In response the city scheduled pickup for either the Saturday or Monday after the Friday holidays (see

QUESTION: Thank you for yesterday's column about fireworks and why police need the public to report violators. But can you let people know that they can make anonymous 911 calls to police to report illegal fireworks? Neighbors then will be more apt to make a complaint. All they have to do is give a street address; they don't need to give their phone number or name.

ANSWER: The public can make anonymous complaints to police.

However, in this case the Honolulu Police Department is specifically asking for people to not only report violators, but to testify against them in court.

“;The violators are typically gone by the time the officer arrives, and we need someone to identify the perpetrator(s),”; said HPD spokeswoman Michelle Yu.