Post 131 sees growth, challenges ahead

The bar at Post 131.

The American Legion Post 131 members will have a special Veterans Day treat today – alcohol.

Post Commander Dan Cady said they secured new liquor insurance on Nov. 3 but had to wait while restocking the shelves.

He said the plan is to open the taps starting on Veterans Day, even if he has to get behind the bar and serve the drinks himself.

Post 131 lost its liquor insurance through AIX Specialty Insurance Co. on Aug. 21, after the company declined to renew the policy. The move came after a settlement paid to the family of three people killed in a wrong-way collision on Interstate 19 in May 2019.

Volunteer Post 131 bartender Tambra Hoskins traveled the wrong way on Interstate 19 and collided with a family of four. She had a 0.318 blood alcohol level; a 0.15 is considered extreme DUI.

The Arizona Department of Liquor fined Post 131 $750 after concluding Hoskins drank during her shift, which ended several hours before the collision. She also had visited two other bars before her death.

In October, Cady said the location would survive until they could secure new liquor insurance. However, he said the wait could have been relatively soon or up to 18 months.

He said the most significant impact would have been limiting the post's donations to local programs.

Waiting is no longer the case for Post 131 members.

"Pima County did a courtesy visit with us (Nov. 4), and we arranged how the seating would go and that kind of thing, you know with groups and all the rules and regs," Cady said. "And they gave us one of those nice Ready For You stickers for the window. So we're feeling pretty good."

Post 131 is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and alcohol is for members only.