The newsLINK Group - Navigating Utah's Liquor Laws at Events

Editorial Library Category: Restaurants Topics: Utah Liquor Laws Title: Navigating Utah’s Liquor Laws at Events Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: Utah’s laws for alcohol are difficult. They’ve been difficult for decades, in fact, and if the Zion curtain law isn’t getting discussed, then the DABC’s interest last year in whether people were having a meal with their alcoholic drink is sure to be mentioned. Editorial: Navigating Utah’s Liquor Laws at Events 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Utah’s laws for alcohol are difficult. They’ve been difficult for decades, in fact, and if the Zion curtain law isn’t getting discussed, then the DABC’s interest last year in whether people were having a meal with their alcoholic drink is sure to be mentioned. But people do drink alcohol in Utah. They are just required to follow an unusual set of rules. As an example of this, many people drank beer at Snowbird Ski Resort’s Oktoberfest in 2014. That’s not a surprising statement; people have been drinking beer at Oktoberfest for the last four decades with no problem. But for a short period of time, starting at the end of May 2014 and ending at the end of June 2014, beer at Oktoberfest was suddenly a controversial subject. The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (DABC) had decided to issue tighter guidelines when granting single-event permits to businesses. State rules hadn’t changed, but the DABC thought it had been too lax in the past and was trying to correct that problem. In particular, the DABC was concerned about underage drinking and people who get drunk in public. Even though the DABC approved a single-event permit for June’s Brewfest at Snowbird, local media reported on their hesitation about allowing beer at Oktoberfest. (The DABC claimed later on that media coverage was unfair; David Gladwell, who is the chairman of the alcohol commission, stated further that Snowbird would have gotten the permit no matter what.) However, news reports claimed the DABC was now viewing single-event permits as something for nonprofits and charitable organizations that wanted to have events to benefit the community. For-profit Snowbird didn’t qualify. Public media picked up the story, and unfavorable publicity about Utah’s liquor laws followed. Supporters praised the event’s emphasis on food, folk dancing, and other aspects. In response, the DABC said Oktoberfest was “a valuable community event” and granted Snowbird’s permit. Now the DABC has reconsidered its policy for granting alcohol permits and has decided to take a more flexible approach. Not only will permit rules be streamlined, event organizers will also have the option of appealing if the DABC denies a permit. The new policy is not yet final; the plan is to review it, make any necessary changes, and vote on it in one or two months. The current regulations are contained in a 12-page document. The document contains rules and regulations that don’t allow for much flexibility. The new version uses more general language, is only three pages long, and would allow regulators to examine an event on a broader, more holistic scale. Meanwhile, it’s clear that if you want a single-event permit for alcohol in Utah, it’s still best to follow the rules. They are available on the Internet at the website for the DABC, which makes it easier to take a look. The Single Event Permit Summary has most of the information you will need to know, including the following information: Which Beverages are Covered by The Single-Event Permit? Beer Flavored malt beverages Heavy beer Liquor Wine Where Can an Organization with a Permit Buy the Beverages? If the beverage is liquor, wine, heavy beer, or flavored malt beverages, then it has to be bought from a DABC state store or package agency. If the beverage is beer, then it can be bought from the following places: A licensed beer retailer in Utah A small brewer A Utah beer wholesaler

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