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Bill would bar Oklahomans from buying alcohol at self-checkout station

Beer stocked on a store shelf.
Kenny Eliason
A bill in the Oklahoma legislature would ban the sale of beer and wine at a self-checkout.

A Senate panel on Monday passed a bill that would prohibit alcohol sales at self-checkout stations.

The Senate Business and Commerce Committee passed Senate Bill 1866, by Sen. Bill Coleman, R-Ponca City.

It now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

Coleman said the measure is needed to prevent minors from purchasing alcohol.

Minors are scanning other products to disguise the alcohol, he said.

“There has got to be a human touch in there somewhere,” Coleman said.

Coleman said it is a safety issue. Other products, such as cigarettes, are placed out of the reach of minors, he said.

Sen. Dusty Deevers, R-Elgin, asked why the government should be regulating decisions that should be left up to individual business owners.

Deevers said the measure would cause more difficulties for businesses than what is necessary.

Business owners should be allowed to police themselves, Deevers said.

Sen. Shane Jett, R-Shawnee, said the state was imposing an inconvenience on a store owner.

Jett said the underage individuals are committing theft if they do not pay.

The bill passed by a vote of 11-2.

Deevers and Jett voted against the measure.

Oklahoma Voice is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Oklahoma Voice maintains editorial independence.

Barbara Hoberock is a senior reporter with Oklahoma Voice. She began her career in journalism in 1989 after graduating from Oklahoma State University. She began with the Claremore Daily Progress and then started working in 1990 for the Tulsa World. She has covered the statehouse since 1994 and served as Tulsa World Capitol Bureau chief. She covers statewide elected officials, the legislature, agencies, state issues, appellate courts and elections.
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