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Enforcement Operation Results in 24-Hour Closure of Two Lahaina Bars

Note: The information below was provided in a press release from the Maui Police Department. Maui Now is currently following up with Maui Police, the County of Maui and Liquor Department for clarification on the time span of the two-week bar closure mandate, if it was in effect through or until Dec. 26; and if the citations were based on that mandate or other Rules. This article will be updated as further details become available.

Task Force Officers from the Maui Police Department and the Department of Liquor Control conducted “Operation Face Mask” on Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020.

The collaboration focused on addressing complaints received via the mpdquarantine@mpd.net portal regarding non-compliance of the COVID-19 Face Mask mandate, by employees, and patrons within licensed liquor establishments in the Lahaina area.

At approximately 5:45 p.m., a 78 year old Lahaina man, was arrested for alleged Violation of the Rules and Orders.

Police say the man, identified as the owner of a Lahaina bar, was allegedly observed by Task Force officers walking around and being within close proximity of patrons while not wearing his face mask.

Police say the man was also previously warned by Task Force officers that he would be subject to arrest should any further complaints of non-compliance with the mask mandate be received by investigators.

The individual was arrested and transported to the Lahaina Police Station for processing without incident and was released after posting $2,000 bail.

While at the bar, Task Force officers also observed customers being served alcohol while seated at the bar. Department of Liquor Control issued a citation to the establishment for Violation of the Rules and Orders, Conditions of Licenses, and Utilizing Bar Seating.

Department of Liquor Control Officers also issued a 24-Hour closure order for alleged violation of the Maui County COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Rules.

Under Maui County rules, there was a two week closure of bars and bar areas within restaurants that ran from Dec. 12-26, 2020. The rule was implemented following double-digit increases in COVID-19 cases leading up to the closures.  Bar owners have expressed confusion over when the mandate expired, noting that two weeks would have concluded at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 26.

Later, on the same evening, police say Task Force officers observed customers being served alcohol while seated at the bar at a separate establishment located on Front Street.

Police say management was contacted and issued a citation by the Department of Liquor Control for alleged violation of the Rules and Orders, Conditions of Licenses, and Utilizing Bar Seating.

Department of Liquor Control Officers also issued a 24-Hour closure order for alleged violation of the Maui County COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Rules.

Original source: https://mauinow.com/2020/12/29/operation-face-mask-results-in-24-hour-closure-of-two-lahaina-bars/

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