Utah Dept of Alcoholic Beverage Control
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DEPARTMENT OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL

Special Event Permits

Events where NO PERMIT is required

THE "PRIVATE EVENT"

If an event is truly private, 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 to obtaining a permit, you must be hosting a specific social, business or recreational event where:

  • The event is being held in a private home, room, area, hall, or building which is either owned or has been leased or rented in advance for a private party.
  • The event is limited in attendance to people who have been specifically designated and their guests.
  • The alcoholic beverages are furnished without charge.

Perhaps the best example of the "private event" is a wedding where those attending have been specifically invited, are on a guest list, and the host provides the alcohol at no charge to the wedding guests.

You may hold a private event for a single day or several days. 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 properly purchased in Utah. Metering alcohol is not required and bartenders do not have to be certified, though you may choose to do so.

SERVE ALCOHOL RESPONSIBLY - You will want to take precautions to ensure that no one under 21 years of age is served alcohol at your private event as you are liable for serving someone who you knew or should have known was under the age of 21. Also, if you allow anyone to become intoxicated and that person injures or causes damage to another person, you may be liable and be sued under the Dram Shop laws.

NO KEGS ALLOWED! - The keg laws prohibit anyone, other than licensed or permitted beer retailers, 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. Any beer served at your private event must be purchased at retail stores in bottles or cans.

PRIVATE Events HELD ON A LICENSED PREMISE

If you hold your event on a DABC licensed premise, you do not need a separate permit to have alcohol served to your guests. This may be done three ways:

  1. Private events may be held at a hotel, convention center, resort, sports center, or reception center that holds a banquet or reception center license. Alcoholic beverages may be paid for by your guests, or you may run a tab for the entire group and pay for the alcoholic beverages as per your contract with them.
  2. Private events may be held at a licensed restaurant or bar where the licensee provides the alcohol. 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. However, under this method, all laws relating to the manner of alcohol service in a restaurant or bar must be strictly followed. For instance, patrons at a restaurant must be seated at a table and alcohol served only with an order of food. Similarly, all laws relating to bars would apply, including those restricting any minor from being in a bar or in the bar area of a fraternal or equity club.
  3. Events may also, at the discretion of the licensed establishment, be rented for private parties as discussed previously, but the room or the premises must not be open to the public. Bars still cannot have minors on the premises even if rented privately and all laws pertaining to hours of service still apply for all restaurants and bars.

WHAT IS "NOT" AN EXCEPTION

IF YOUR EVENT IS PRIVATE BUT ALCOHOL IS STILL SOLD - including indirect sales of alcohol, a permit will still be required. Examples of an indirect sale of alcohol include charging an admission fee, donations requested, or tickets sold to the event etc. Then a permit will still be required, even if it is not open to the general public.

IF THE GENERAL PUBLIC IS INVITED - The General public includes anyone drawn from the general public by word of mouth, advertisements, signing up on social media, magazines, newspapers, tickets given from a radio show, tickets given out from targeted ads or tickets randomly passed out on the street etc. These, and other similar scenarios are all considered publicly invited events and a permit will be required.

ALSO, THESE SITUATIONS - Paying customers who go to service businesses i.e. hair salons, spas automotive repair shops etc. Alcohol cannot legally be served there. Places such as an art gallery stroll or condo sales promotions etc. are not private and cannot sell (without a permit) or ever give alcohol away for free to the public. If you have questions, call DABC.

 

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