On July 1, 2012, Utah’s SB314 Law will go into effect. This law, which tightens restrictions on alcohol sales, was passed unanimously through state legislature. Governor Herbert signed it in March of 2011, ignoring the request by Utah’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to veto the bill.
SB314 disallows any drink specials or discounts by clubs and bars. It moves the allowable time for alcohol sales to begin from 10:00 am to 11:30 am. Mini-kegs are officially banned. But the primary purpose of the law was to tie the number of liquor licenses to population quotas and public safety officers, effectively keeping alcohol licenses to a certain limit.
The hospitality industry of Utah is not at all pleased with the passing of this legislation. After having attempted to converse with lawmakers over the subject, the group of alcohol vendors decided to bring a lawsuit against lawmakers, in an attempt to have SB314 dissolved.
The Utah Hospitality Association hopes that even if they do not succeed in the lawsuit, they will be able to capture public attention and get help changing the law through public support. They express frustration with the process of trying to communicate with the governor and the Legislature.
While those on the other side of the argument believe that this attempt to fight the new law will fail, it may at least make waves on its way through the legal system. Utah is already a notoriously dry state, with bottle sales of alcohol, of over 4% content, being kept to liquor stores, which are closed on Sundays. With this lawsuit, the Utah Hospitality Association hopes to prevent the restrictions on the sale of alcohol in Utah from becoming even tighter.