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Home - Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

Special Event Permits

No Permit Required Events

The "Privately Hosted Event" Exception

If the event is truly private and not open to the general public, and the alcohol is furnished by the host without charge to those attending, then no alcohol permit is required. To qualify for this exception, you must be hosting a social, business or recreational event for which

  • an entire room, area, hall (or building) has been leased or rented in advance;
  • the event is limited in attendance to people who have been specifically designated (and their guests);
  • the alcoholic beverages are furnished without charge. This exception does not apply to events to which the general public is invited, whether for an admission fee or not;

Thus, you will need to establish some way to determine at the door that only those who have been invited (and their guests) are admitted, and not the general public. There can be no indirect sale of alcohol by way of charging admission or selling tickets to offset the cost of the alcohol. Perhaps the best example of the "privately hosted event" exception is a private wedding where those attending have been specially invited and are on a guest list, and the host provides the alcohol at no charge to the wedding guests.

You may hold a privately hosted event for a single day or several days, and there are no set hours for alcohol service. You may serve any liquor, wine or beer at the event as long as it has been purchased in Utah. You should also take precautions to ensure that no one under 21 years of age is served alcohol at the private event. You could be potentially liable for serving someone you knew or should have known was under the age of 21, and they become intoxicated and injure or cause damage to another person.

Note that under Utah's keg beer law, any beer served under the "privately hosted event" exception must be in bottles or cans purchased at retail. Beer may not be served "on draft" from a keg. The keg law prohibits anyone, other than a licensed or permitted beer retailer, from being in possession of beer in containers larger than two liters. It also prohibits beer distributors or wholesalers from selling keg beer to anyone other than a licensed or permitted beer retailer. Also, there is no provision in the law that allows dispensing of "heavy beer" (over 3.2% alcohol content) on draft from kegs.

Organizers of privately hosted events hosted by accredited foreign diplomatic missions.

Events Held on a Licensed Premises

If you hold an event on the premises of a restaurant or private club that already has an alcoholic beverage license you do not need a separate permit to have alcohol served to your guests. This may be done two ways:

  1. The alcohol may be provided under the restaurant's or private club's license out of its own inventory. The drinks may be paid for by your guests or you may run a tab for the entire group, and pay for the drinks at the end of the evening. Under this method, all laws relating to the manner of alcohol service in the restaurant or private club must be strictly followed. Thus, you may not serve patrons over the bar in a restaurant, because the law regulating restaurants only allows alcohol to be served at the patron's table in connection with an order for food. Similarly, all laws relating to private clubs would apply including those restricting use of the club facilities to club members and holders of visitor cards and their guests. Under this scenario, beer could be served on draft under the licensed establishment's alcohol license.
  2. Alternatively, you could hold a "privately hosted event" on the premises of a licensed establishment. Under this scenario, your group would provide the alcohol under all of the guidelines outlined for the "privately hosted event" exception previously discussed. The alcohol would be furnished by the group and would not be dispensed from the licensed establishment's inventory. However, you could hire personnel of the restaurant or private club to dispense your alcohol to your guests. Again, no separate alcohol permit would be required. But 3.2% beer as well as heavy beer would have to be served from bottles or cans, and not from a keg on draft.

If you hold and event at a hotel, convention center, resort, or sports center that holds an on-premise banquet and catering license, alcohol may be provided for contracted banquets under the manner of service of a cash bar, hosted bar or at a meal function (such as a dinner) where the drinks may be paid for by your guests or you may run a tab for the entire group, and pay for the alcoholic beverages at the end of the evening.

Utah Code references: "Privately hosted events" : 32B-1-102(80); 32B-4-415(5); Keg beer law: 32B-4-406(1)(b).


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