Bill Allowing Veteran Discounts At Liquor Stores Heads To Oklahoma House Floor

A bill that would allow liquor stores in Oklahoma to give veteran discounts has made it out of committee and is headed to the house floor.

Sunday, April 14th 2024, 10:21 pm



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A bill that would allow liquor stores in Oklahoma to give veteran discounts has made it out of committee and is headed to the house floor.

The ABLE Commission says state law makes it illegal for liquor stores to give discounts to select groups of people, including veterans.

The Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma says this law has only been enforced over the last few weeks.

A veteran contacted News On 6 after he says Aspen Liquor in Broken Arrow told him, it couldn't give him a veteran discount anymore because it was against the law.

The Able Commission says it recently got a complaint about veterans getting discounts from a retail liquor store, and said because of a law that went into effect in 2018, giving discounts to certain groups of people is illegal.

"We love that Lowes and Home Depot can give discounts on drills and whatever else they sell there, unfortunately, alcohol is just different. It's an addictive drug and it's treated differently, it's highly regulated because of that," said Lori Carter with the ABLe Commission.

Dirk Van Veen with the Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma says it believes the ABLE commission changed the meaning of the modernization law.

"A change in interpretation at the ABLE commission as to what is a drink versus a retail container, and it had liquor stores falling under previous discount policies for bars and restaurants we saw that differently," said Dirk Van Veen with the Retail Liquor Association Of Oklahoma.

Van Veen said the Director of the ABLE Commission encouraged him to propose a bill to change the wording of the modernization law so liquor stores can legally give veteran discounts.

"Basically, it makes all these what we thought were legal discounts legal again and we are hoping to have a limited-service interruption to our veterans in terms of their discounts," Van Veen said.

Neil Hays is a state representative on the Alcohol, Tobacco and Controlled Substances Committee who voted in favor of this bill and he says he's gotten a lot of feedback from Veterans in his district.

"Mainly, thank you's, it's not about the money for the ones I've spoken to it's more about the respect," said Neil Hays, State Rep. District 13.

The ABLE commission says it has not given any citations to liquor stores that have been giving veteran discounts.

This bill has an emergency clause, so if it passes through the legislature, once the governor signs it, it will go into effect immediately.

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