In March of 2011, the legislature of Utah sat in consideration of passing the SB314 law, a law that increases some restrictions on alcohol sales and licensure, in the state of Utah, while at the same time, loosening some others.
Shortly after the legislation passed unanimously, Governor Herbert signed it into law. However, most of these changes were intended to not take effect until 2012. The goal behind that is to leave enough transition time for all involved, as the changes are many.
The changes include allowing hotel guests to order an alcoholic beverage through room service, as long as the guest only orders one at a time. Mini-kegs, however are banned in Utah.
While existing liquor licensees will actually be permitted to sell liquor licenses, the fees for purchasing liquor licenses will increase. Alcohol will not be sold, in any establishment offering open drinks, until 11:30 am.
Reception centers with more than 5,000 square feet can be licensed for alcohol sales, as long as 70% of their gross sales come from sources other than alcohol. There will be no discounting of drinks in Utah, which means no more happy hour.
40 Taverns, so named by licensing, were converted to 15 full restaurant licenses and 25 limited restaurant licenses. Limited restaurants cannot sell alcoholic beverages other than wine or beer. 60% of dining club gross sales must come from food.
Because the number of licenses must be based on the number of people in the population of Utah and the number of public safety officers, the current number of licenses is already over that limit. So, it will be some time, at least until some growth of the population occurs, before more restaurant licenses will be offered.