Stop serving underage drinkers in clubs

| 26/04/2018

Is there a URL where the public can read liquor licence inspector reports and see who has been signing off on the nightclubs admitting minor children on Friday nights?

Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian statusAuntie’s answer: You have brought up a very important issue that I feel is not a large-enough part of the public conversation. The law may be very clear on the legal drinking age in Cayman, but I am sure I am not alone in being certain there are teenagers who are under 18 being admitted to clubs or being served alcohol in bars.

Of course, Cayman would not be unique in that regard, but that doesn’t matter. The point, as I think you would agree, is that if it is happening, we should try to take steps to stop it.

With that in mind, when I approached the Department of Commerce and Investment (DCI), under which the Liquor Licensing Board (LLB) falls, I expanded on your question. But first, as to your original query, a DCI official explained that a member of the public cannot get access to the reports: “Any inspection reports regarding complaints of liquor licence breaches are not published and are brought to the attention of the board at the meetings.” However, you can attend the Liquor Licensing Board meetings where applications are reviewed.

Following on from that, I enquired about the process of inspecting bars and clubs, and I was informed there were no fixed times for the inspections. “A number of things can trigger an inspection which licensees are not advised of prior to inspections.” These triggers include complaints from the public to the DCI, random inspections from trade officers and requests from the LLB due to any complaints the board may have received.

All complaints to the LLB are forwarded to the DCI which then assigns a trade officer to conduct an inspection, after which a licensee can be issued a warning or be prosecuted, the DCI official said, adding, “In some instances, the licensee can be summoned by the board to explain their position as it relates to the complaint; the board will then decide a course of action in relation to the licensee.”

If it is confirmed that there were underage drinkers on the premises, “the board will decide what action to take administratively”. However, the official said, “if court action is taken against an individual and he/she is convicted, their licence can be revoked by the board as stipulated in law”.

I would therefore suggest that if you have evidence that an establishment is admitting underage drinkers, you should submit a complaint to DCI. To contact DCI, call 945-0943 or email

As I have made it clear in previous columns, I do not have any tolerance for drunk drivers. I am sure it would not come as a surprise that I also consider underage drinking a serious matter. In addition, it is not difficult to imagine some of these illegal drinkers, who are old enough to drive, deciding to get behind the wheel after a night out. Of course, no law will be able to prevent an underage teen from drinking at their friend’s house and then driving home, but at least we can try to make it as difficult as possible to go out to a bar or club to drink.

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Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (21)

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  1. John Lin says:

    But that would require liquor licensing inspectors to be in those clubs at midnight and later on a Friday night when they want to be at home with their families.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The kids have fake ID’s and go to XXXXX is what I see…no problem getting in there. The guys doing the ID check are security guards and most likely cant do the math on the ID’s.

    • Anonymous says:

      The kids don’t have fake IDs. There is no ID check at all. Fake ID apps shouldn’t be pulling the wool over door-men and do not excuse the owners from their duties.

      One incident, on or abutting their property and the owners and managers lives will change forever.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Alcohol is poison. Google that mr money man

  4. West Bay Premier says:

    That’s going to be too much of a bigger problem for the Government , they can’t even tell who are Caymanian . Then don’t expect them to give everyone ID cards .

    • Anonymous says:

      If kids don’t have legit gov’t photo ID by the time they’re 18, then they shouldn’t be admitted to go boozing. They definitely shouldn’t be driving without a driver’s license, or flying off island without a passport, or voting without a voter card. A lot of these underage kids are children of prominent expats (both with and without CI Status).

  5. Anonymous says:

    Lol, you whiners obviously never went to Sharkeys, Faces, Rumheads, etc. Good times were had by all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sure, in our twenties, not when we were 14…because they were checking ID back then! You may recall the lineup at Sharkey’s was down the stairs because of the ID check and door cover. Rumheads was too rough for kids. Serious machete slaps went down in that parking lot!

  6. V says:

    With the increase in available times to buy alcohol I would be interested to know what the government plans to do:

    1. educate on the dangers of alcohol
    2. enforce the driving standard
    3. and enforce and hold bar/club owners accountable. (large fines, liquor license revoked, etc.

    I would expect a least a proportionate plan to curb consumption and raise awareness.

    • Anonymous says:

      NDC are silent! What do they do all year between purple ribbon pledges?!?

      • Anonymous says:

        Silently trying to kill the truth…. Meanwhile ethanol should be consumed once a day they say…
        Once a day and even on Sunday now too! Maximum power to the real bandits of Cayman it seems.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Every single bar lets in dozens of underage kids every weekend
    same with the clubs and if you really want to see the underage drinking in Cayman go out to Rum point on one of those boats on a Sunday
    They make a significant amount of money off of these minors and have no real incentive to enforce the laws

  8. Anonymous says:

    First of all, you have bartenders that can’t even speak English much less understand that they shouldn’t be serving drinks to minors. It is very prevalent. A bartender should know the Liquor Licensing law and everyone should be carded.

    • Anonymous says:

      Regardless of what language they begin the evening with, many of our bartenders and wait staff are doing shots in unison with customers and are drunk themselves by the end of the night. It needs to start at the T&B/Liquor License Owner’s desk with a written warning from DCI…then on to the manager’s head, and they in turn, read the riot act to their bouncers and door security. No government ID, no entry. Currently, there is no impetus to check because there is either (a) no inspections ever – or (b) they have greased the inspectors to disregard what they see. There are people that need to be fired well before the headlines of a raped or injured minor child at one of these spots. We’re only one unfortunate incident away from a life-changing lawsuit for the owners, DCI, and the property lessors.

    • West Bay Premier says:

      Anonymous 10:30 am , the law should make employer responsible for making sure that employee know the law . But I agree 110% that something needs to be done about under age drinking . The 60’s are over .

      • Anonymous says:

        My father used to operate a bar. A man told me just a few weeks ago how he went to my father’s bar and my father told him to go home, he’s too young to be at the bar. I used to bar tend as well and if someone was drunk, we couldn’t serve them anymore liquor. The last bar that someone was at before they had a car accident was held responsible and the bar could lose their liquor license. Not sure what the laws are now but that was the 80’s. Maybe they just aren’t being enforced.

        • Anonymous says:

          That was back when people took some responsibility for each other and not only themselves.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Clearly this is another corrupt and broken segment of the public service, where it requires filing of a “court action” from a member of the public to compel the liquor licensing board to conduct their routine inspections. Who is in charge of this? What are their names?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Let’s not understate the problem. There are dozens and dozens of high school kids, some as young as 14, none that have any form of ID, routinely admitted into nightclubs and bars – some that don’t open until 11pm on Friday nights and run until 4am. Their “cool” parents don’t seem to think there is anything wrong with this, because all the other “chill” parents are letting this happen. The club managers look the other way and take these cover charges without ID and contrary to the Liquor Law, their T&B and Liquor Licensing. “It’s what I did when I was their age” shouldn’t recuse the establishment from following the law, nor the enforcement apparatus and liquor inspectors from upholding their paid responsibilities. Proof of 18 must be a requirement for all admittance. If not, why not?!? SHUT THEM DOWN!

    • Anonymous says:

      All nightclubs have conditions attached to their liquor licenses, requiring carding of patrons prior to admittance. The problem with underage drinkers at these establishments, is a result of lack of enforcement by trade officers at the Department of Commerce & Investment. DCI currently have a former RCIPS Chief Inspector heading up their compliance unit, therefore persons under 18 years should not be inside nightclubs.

      • Anonymous says:

        Need more of the times when Danny and Lenny was running McDonald’s , I tell you if Danny hew had a doubt about your age and you had no i.d ,you would never have a drink in there ,guarenteed..