Lawsuit challenging Utah liquor laws dismissed

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 29 2012 6:27 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — A lawsuit challenging changes to Utah's liquor laws has been settled.

U.S. District Judge Bruce Jenkins dismissed the Utah Hospitality Association's claims this week after the state clarified for the group how establishments may legally offer discounted alcoholic drinks, set prices and change menus.

"Utah is a liquor control state, and the state has the authority to place reasonable restrictions on the sale of alcoholic beverages to help prevent overconsumption," said Kyle Kaiser, assistant Utah attorney general.

At issue was a law the Legislature passed last year that banned social clubs from offering daily drink specials and tied the state's license quota system not only to population but the number of public safety officers assigned to enforcing liquor laws, specifically related to DUI.

The hospitality association called the law "unconstitutionally vague" because it didn't define what discount means, what prices constitute the promotion of overconsumption, how many police officers affect the quota system and whether clubs may hold happy hours.

Jenkins dismissed the case earlier this year but gave the association the opportunity to amend the lawsuit.

Dennis Romboy

Twitter: dennisromboy

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