Legislative Update - 2011
Excerpt from Licensing Newsletter, Spring 2011
Major changes to the alcoholic beverage laws were enacted in Senate Bill 314, sponsored by Senator John Valentine. The enrolled text of the bill can be viewed here: http://le.utah.gov/~2011/bills/sbillenr/sb0314.pdf
Licensing and renewal fees were increased. License quotas for restaurants, taverns, and airport lounges were adjusted, and beginning on July 1, 2012, all licenses that are under a quota will be tied to the number of law enforcement officers that the Department of Public Safety allocates to alcohol enforcement. Also, effective July 1, 2012, alcohol licenses may be bought and sold on the open market.
Several new license types were created including reception center, beer-only restaurant, and recreational amenity on-premise beer licenses. Sales hours in all restaurants including the new “beer-only restaurants” start at 11:30 a.m. Consumption of alcohol on any licensed premises must cease one hour after the licensee’s closing sales hour.
Dining clubs must maintain 60% in food sales. Expensive wines in excess of $250 per bottle are not included in any required food to alcohol ratios. Temporary event permit holders may not include an unlimited number of alcoholic drinks for a fixed price unless the drinks are served to a patron at a seated event.
Taverns, like social and dining clubs, must use electronic age verification scanning devices. Room service “by the drink” is allowed in hotels and resorts. A package agency located on a manufacturer’s premises (winery, brewery, distillery) may be open on Sundays and state and federal holidays if the manufacturer holds a full-service, limited-service, or “beer only” restaurant license located at the manufacturing facility, and only sells product produced at the manufacturing facility from the package agency. Discounting of any alcoholic beverage products is not allowed. The DABC may no longer carry heavy beer in containers that exceed two liters.
On-line alcohol server training guidelines were enacted. Finally, changes were made with respect to how the commission chairman and department director are selected, and a new conflicts of interest law was enacted that effects the commissioners, the director, certain ABC employees, and even their spouses and children.