HONOLULU (KHON2) — A proposal to let Honolulu Liquor commission inspectors temporarily shut down businesses over certain violations is being met with opposition from some business owners who said the proposed rules are vague and unclear, while possibly posing serious consequences.
The Honolulu Liquor Commission is proposing an overhaul of all of its rules for the first time since 1993.
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On Thursday, the public had an opportunity to share their opinions, many testified against a proposal to restore a 24-hour shut down of businesses if a field inspector determines emergency orders, proclamations or rules were broken.
“These rules not only imposed financial hardships on business via 24-hour shutdowns,” nightclub operator Joseph Luna testified. “But also codify the ability for investigators to impose their personal beliefs and prejudices on licensees.”
The ability for field investigators to shutter a business for a 24-hour period was removed by Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s emergency orders in November.
The proposed amendments also expands the list of possible violations that could prompt the liquor commission to deny a liquor license renewal.
But some who testified during the hearing said the proposal lacked specific details.
For example, a liquor license renewal could be withheld for, “Any report from the commission’s investigators for any non-compliance with proper conduct of the business.
But “proper conduct” is not defined in the document.
“You have to know what the definition is. So it’s not so unduly vague.” attorney Michael Green said. “That the licensee can conform the business and their employees to the conduct that you’re considering changing?”
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There was no action taken on the proposed changes during Thursday’s meeting.
The Honolulu Liquor Commission Chair Narsi Ganaban appointed Commissioners Darren Lee and Duane Miyashiro to review public testimony and provide a recommendation at a future meeting.