Booze bill deferred

LIHUE — Citing the need to sort out liability and potential DUI concerns, the Public Works/Parks and Recreation Committee deferred a bill that would allow the sale of alcohol on Wailua Golf Course.

During the committee meeting Wednesday, questions were raised about who would be responsible if someone was drunk at the golf course, and got hurt, either on their way home, or on the course itself.

“We want to be clear who’s responsible to make sure rules are being adhered to,” said Councilman Mason Chock.

Employees at the golf course would be responsible for regulating plays and overseeing the course in general. As far as regulating the sale of alcohol, the concessionaire is responsible, said Mauna Kea Trask, county attorney.

“The question of liability, coverage and insurance is a good one,” said Councilman Gary Hooser.

Another concern raised was driving a golf cart while drinking alcohol.

“A lot of the DUIs have changed, and one of them is the definition of a vehicle. They included all these different kind of classes of equipment,” said Mel Rapozo, council chair. “Have we looked at that? Because now we’re taking a vehicle, which is the golf cart, and operating the cart while possessing liquor in the vehicle.”

Because the golf course can only be used by golfers, any potential cases of drunken driving isn’t criminal, Trask said.

“However, this does not mean that there should be administrative rules regulating the use of golf carts — there’s still liability, and issues of public safety. Just not criminal DUIs,” he said.

Alcohol is available for purchase on most private golf courses.

Bill No. 2635, which passed at first reading, allows for a “roving concession” stand to sell alcohol at Wailua Golf Course.

The course has a restaurant where alcohol can be purchased, but it must be consumed inside the facility.

The bill will be discussed again at the Oct. 12 committee meeting.

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