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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, May 11, 2001

Liquor store fined again for underage sale

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

The owner of a Kapahulu liquor store was fined $2,000 yesterday after being found guilty for a second time of selling liquor to a person under the age of 21.

The Honolulu Liquor Commission found Sin Hui Kim guilty of selling a six-pack of beer and three other bottles of alcoholic beverages to an 18-year-old man Jan. 27. The sale was made in Kim's Kapahulu Pantry store.

In April 2000, the store was fined $1,000 for a similar violation. Kim was found guilty of selling alcohol to a former St. Louis School athlete.

Yesterday, a liquor control investigator testified that he saw Kim ask the man, Michael Reed, for an identification card when the sale was made.

But when the investigator confronted Reed and asked for identification, Reed produced a fake Colorado ID card and admitted he was just 18.

Reed testified that he got the card from a man in Waikiki. He said he paid $20 for the fake card.

Kim argued that he did his job by asking for the identification card, which showed that Reed was 22 years old. He said he didn't realize that the ID was fake.

But several commissioners said it was Kim's responsibility to check the card with a booklet of real identification cards.

Avis Jervis said the bogus card looked nothing like a real Colorado identification card.

Commissioner Chu Lan Kwock admonished Kim for what she said was his poor attitude when it came to verifying Reed's age.

"I'm scared that you own a license right now," Kwock told Kim. "You have an obligation to check thoroughly, especially when you admitted that he looked young. It's a false ID, very clear."

Jervis said she was ready to seek a suspension of Kim's liquor license, but agreed with the other commissioners on the $2,000 fine. Another similar violation could lead to a license revocation.

After the hearing, Kim said he was not allowed to present his entire case to the commission. Kim represented himself and said he could not afford an attorney.

He said he will appeal the fine.