281-78 Prohibitions. (a) No person shall:

(1) Consume any liquor on any public highway, except as permitted in section 291-3.4;

(2) Consume any liquor on any public sidewalk, including any sidewalk within a public housing project;

(3) Consume any liquor on any common area of a public housing project; or

(4) Possess or keep, while on any sidewalk or common area within a public housing project, any bottle, can, or other receptacle containing any intoxicating liquor that has been opened, that has a broken seal, or the contents of which have been partially removed.

For purposes of this subsection:

"Common area" means roofs, halls, corridors, lobbies, stairs, stairways, fire escapes, entrances and exits of the building or buildings, basements, yards, gardens, recreational facilities, parking areas, storage spaces, and other parts of the project normally in common use or other areas designated by the Hawaii public housing authority.

"Public housing project" means any state or federal public housing project as defined in section 356D-1 or 356D-91 or a state low-income housing project as defined in section 356D-51.

(b) At no time under any circumstances shall any licensee or its employee:

(1) Sell, serve, or furnish any liquor to, or allow the consumption of any liquor by:

(A) Any minor;

(B) Any person at the time under the influence of liquor;

(C) Any person known to the licensee to be addicted to the excessive use of intoxicating liquor; or

(D) Any person for consumption in any vehicle that is licensed to travel on public highways;

provided that the consumption or sale of liquor to a minor shall not be deemed to be a violation of this subsection if, in making the sale or allowing the consumption of any liquor by a minor, the licensee was misled by the appearance of the minor and the attending circumstances into honestly believing that the minor was of legal age and the licensee acted in good faith; provided further that it shall be incumbent upon the licensee to prove that the licensee so acted in good faith;

(2) Permit any liquor to be consumed on the premises of the licensee or on any premises connected therewith, whether there purchased or not, except as permitted by the terms of its license;

(3) Permit any liquor to be sold or served by any person eighteen to twenty years of age except in licensed establishments where selling or serving the intoxicating liquor is part of the minor's employment, and where there is proper supervision of these minor employees to ensure that the minors shall not consume the intoxicating liquor;

(4) Permit any liquor to be sold or served by any person below the age of eighteen years upon any licensed premises, except in individually specified licensed establishments found to be otherwise suitable by the liquor commission in which an approved program of job training and employment for dining room waiters and waitresses is being conducted in cooperation with the University of Hawaii, the state community college system, or a federally sponsored personnel development and training program, under arrangements that ensure proper control and supervision of employees;

(5) Knowingly permit any person under the influence of liquor or disorderly person to be or remain in or on the licensed premises;

(6) Fail to timely prevent or suppress any violent, quarrelsome, disorderly, lewd, immoral, or unlawful conduct of any person on the premises; or

(7) Receive from a person, as payment or as a consideration for liquor, any personal or household goods, including clothing and food, or any implements of trade. Any person violating this paragraph shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished as provided in section 281-102. [L Sp 1933, c 40, 48; RL 1935, 2617; am L 1935, c 105, 13, 14, 15; am L 1937, c 211, 19; am L Sp 1941, c 89, 1(d); RL 1945, 7266; am L 1951, c 223, 1(9); RL 1955, 159-77; am L 1957, c 274, 1; am L 1967, c 184, 1; HRS 281-78; am L 1969, c 228, 1; am L 1976, c 3, 1; gen ch 1985; am L 1986, c 342, 3; am L 1987, c 283, 70; am L 1988, c 350, 1 and c 383, 6; am L 1990, c 171, 25; am L 1991, c 206, 2; am L 1992, c 207, 2; am L 1996, c 101, 1; am L 2008, c 34, 1; am L 2012, c 88, 2; am L 2013, c 150, 1; am L 2019, c 226, 2]


Law Journals and Reviews


Tort Law--Bertelmann v. Taas Associates: Limits on Dram Shop Liability; Barring Recovery of Bar Patrons, Their Estates and Survivors. 11 UH L. Rev. 277 (1989).

Tort and Insurance "Reform" in a Common Law Court. 14 UH L. Rev. 55 (1992).

Johnston v. KFC National Management Co.: Employer Social-Host Liability for Torts of Intoxicated Employees. 14 UH L. Rev. 829 (1992).

Reyes v. Kuboyama: Vendor Liability for the Sale of Intoxicating Liquor to Minors under a Common Law Negligence Theory. 17 UH L. Rev. 355 (1995).


Case Notes


Licensee was under duty to take action against intoxicated person. 690 F. Supp. 910 (1988).

Person injured by intoxicated driver may recover from tavern that supplied liquor to the driver in violation of subsection (a)(2)(B). 62 H. 131, 612 P.2d 533 (1980).

Liquor consumer injured because of intoxication does not have cause of action against liquor seller for violating this section. 69 H. 95, 735 P.2d 930 (1987).

Minors voluntarily consuming alcohol are precluded from suing the commercial liquor supplier. 71 H. 524, 797 P.2d 51 (1990).

Subsection (a)(2)(A) (1989) imposes a duty to innocent third parties upon a liquor licensee who sells alcohol to a minor; the duty includes the situation where an innocent third party has been injured by an intoxicated minor other than the minor to whom liquor was sold, subject to determinations by the trier of fact on the issue of reasonable foreseeability. 76 H. 137, 870 P.2d 1281 (1994).

Patron was under the influence of liquor and disorderly; patron was a participant in altercation with defendant, and was not within class of persons protected by liquor licensing statutes; thus, court did not err in refusing to give certain instruction or to quote subsection (b)(2) in other instruction. 10 H. App. 331, 871 P.2d 1235 (1992).

Mentioned: 9 H. App. 490, 851 P.2d 332 (1993).



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