Saturday, May 30, 2015


Hawaii’s sit-lie laws criminalize the homeless and tourists as well... oops

Like the gentle winds that blow there, is my love for you.
Hand in hand we strolled the sands, my love's still true.
Honolulu bay is calling, me back to you.
Beams of love are under, Honolulu Moon
Under Honolulu Moon (Larry W. Jones 3/26/2002)

“Oh,  hello officer. What? A citation for us? To appear in court??!?”


by Larry Geller

Yes, as the snip shows it’s 84 degrees and sunny in Honolulu right now. The gentle trade winds waft over Waikiki. Nights are pretty mellow, too, and why shouldn’t a young couple in love go outside their hotel to bask in the moonlight on a Waikiki beach, listening to ocean waves lapping the shore instead of watching commercials on a hotel room TV? Make use of that jet lag. Go outside.

We know the scene so well. Look at that moon! It's the moon over Waikiki!

They bask in its soft rays. A hug. A kiss. How romantic.

Until the cop shows up.

No love is in store for tourists caught on the beach after midnight, as the article reports. Instead, they risk being cited by the Honolulu police.

The risk is real. The report describes how tourists are then required to return to Honolulu on their court date to face the music. Or else they need an attorney or can end up with a criminal record. Read the article, linked below.

For foreigners, a criminal record would spell trouble. For example if they apply for a visa in the future, they could be denied.
Jalisa Jose and several friends from Idaho were on Queen's Beach at Waikiki about 2 a.m. on March 31, 2015, the morning after her 21st birthday, during their spring break from college. She said police officers approached them, and were written citation.

The citation set a court date of May 27, which she missed. That could lead to a criminal warrant.
[Hawaii News Now, Homeless crackdown catches Waikiki tourists, 5/29/2015]
You can bet Jalisa Jose and her friends are going to tell others about this.

Now, has this happened to Japanese tourists, and if so, doesn’t the city realize the risk should it get into tourist mags or appear on popular tourist websites?

But why cite tourists—why not cite just the homeless, one might ask.

If the HPD did that, it would be selective enforcement of the law, and the city could be taken to court over that. Quite possibly the ordinance could be enjoined.

So thanks to the Mayor’s “compassionate disruption” and the connivance of our City Council, all those romantic songs now need to be re-written.

Hand in hand we strolled the sands, my love's still true. (*)

*Applies only until midnight.

(hat tip to Ian Lind, who spotted this first)


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