New case highlights ban on alcohol discounts

ANCHORAGE — Charges filed against an Anchorage buffet restaurant owner highlight a state law that prohibits discounts on alcohol at bars and restaurants.

Kogi restaurant owner Young Hyon Kim is charged with perjury, failure to have a valid alcohol server education card and violating the alcohol discount ban, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

A hostess at the restaurant offered underage customers a 10 percent military discount on beer in November, according to the charges filed last week.

The complaint filed in state court also says neither Kim nor the hostess had a valid alcohol server card.

Prosecutors say Kim signed notarized paperwork with the state in November 2012, saying he did have a valid card, which lead to the perjury charge.

The Alaska law banning alcohol discounts was created in 1986. Businesses, however, can still offer cuts on food and drink combos.

“It’s to prevent binge drinking, which cuts down on DUIs,” said Robert Beasley, enforcement supervisor for the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

Drink discounts are banned in some states, but not all of them.

In the Kogi restaurant case, three young people walked in on Nov. 8 as part of an undercover sting by the ABC Board. According to the charges, each paid for a buffet and beer.

Prosecutors say all three were younger than 21 and showed the hostess, Hanmi Pounds, their military dependent identification cards.

Their ages are printed on the back of their ID cards, but the hostess did not look at the dates of birth, according to the charges. The hostess is charged with selling alcohol to a minor.

The ABC Board used underage buyers with military identifications in another recent Anchorage sting. In that case, the board suspended a liquor store’s license for one week.

“There’s a lot of 18, 19, 20-year-old service people in this town,” Beasley said. “Just because they’re in the military, doesn’t mean they are 21.”

Kim referred questions about the case to his son, the Daily News said. The son said he was unaware of the charges.

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