Coupon Use Limited by Liquor Laws

Written by Kathryn on May 8, 2011

Liquor laws regulate if and how coupons can be used on the sale of alcohol. You may be thinking that you don’t buy alcohol with coupons so this doesn’t affect you. However if you ever use restaurant coupons to purchase meals that include alcohol then you will want to know more about this issue.

Many states prohibit the discounts from coupons to be applied to any sale of alcohol. This means that if you have a coupon for ten percent off of the total cost of your restaurant bill then the restaurant is not allowed to calculate the alcohol in the cost until they have taken the discount off of the rest of the meal. You aren’t allowed to get the discount on any wine, beer or cocktails that you might get with your meal.

Most coupons do say this right on them. After all, coupons have been around for a long time and their manufacturers have gotten savvy about the law. Where things might get tricky, however, is with more modern coupon sites like the Groupon-style group buying sites.

The Beaver County Times recently reported that these same state liquor laws often apply to Groupon-type deals. For example, if you purchase a Groupon for $25 that gives you $50 in value at a local restaurant, you can use the $50 but none of it can be applied to the cost of alcohol purchased with the meal. If you aren’t careful, this can mean that you don’t get a great deal after all. Let’s say that you only buy $30 worth of food and then spend another $20 on drinks. You only get to use the coupon for the $30 worth of food. You paid $25 for the coupon so you only saved $5 plus you spent another $20 on drinks. That doesn’t add up to good savings.

Because these buying sites are relatively new they may not have the information about liquor limitations written on them. It’s something that you need to be aware of for yourself because you don’t want to be surprised when the bill comes at the end of the night!

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