Published: Monday, March 11 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
Rep. Fisher's bill, HB 240 Alcohol Service in Restaurants, is a good bill
and passed both houses and should be signed by the Governor. It clarifies that
someone can order wine while still looking at the menu.The purpose
of the "Zion Curtain" was to make sure there was a difference in the
design of a facility that was a restaurant, bar, or tavern since there are age
requirements for the bar or tavern and not a restaurant. That should be kept,
even if the law is amended.
Coming from somebody who does not drink, this editorial is flat-out dishonest
and wrong. While alcohol control laws, by and large, are indeed proven to reduce
excessive and underage drinking, this specific law is poor policy. It does not
have a proven track record for reducing drinking, alcohol abuse, accidents, or
anything other than business freedom and the ability of a customer to see that
their drink is properly made. Nor does it 'harmonize nicely' with the
Surgeon General quote because, as the editorial says, it does not actually
'reduce access' of anyone to get a drink. The only real reason this
law exists is the immature and asinine idea offered in the editorial that bar
areas are somehow "alluring displays" of alcohol advertising from which
minors (and, apparently, adults too) need to be "shielded." It is
nothing but an unnecessary inconvenience contrived by lawmakers who feel the
need to hide that of which they disapprove, and an inconvenience applied
unequally to businesses because the law was not written with equal protection in
mind. Kudos to the House for fixing this bad law, and shame on Sen. Valentine
and this newspaper for promoting poor legislation under false pretenses.
Oh good grief, are citizens so easily manipulated? Out of sight out of mind? I
don't drink but I have lived in many states where liquor was openly
displayed and the sight never tempted me to imbibe. People are free agents and
if they want to drink they will do so, and if not they will not. This "no
display law" is like sweeping your dust under the rug and reinforces the
notion that Utah is well, charitably, different..
Re: "Legislators should not be embarrassed by innovative state policies . .
. ."It's not a matter of embarrassment. It's just who
they take their marching orders from.The vast majority of
Utah's electorate supports the "Zion curtain." The
"hospitality" industry opposes it.What to do, then, is an
easy decision for too many Utah politicians -- blow off their constituents and
follow the orders of their financiers.
You claim keeping alcohol out of sight is "proven" as a way to reduce
drinking. Please provide the name of the study that proves it.
Wait you can have enough guns to kill 100 people in a minute, but the nanny
state controls wine with dinner?
The Bible says that if your eye offends you you must pluck it out. If people
that believe drinking alcohol is evil see alcohol -- what then ? Do we want
that many blind people ??
@ procuradorfiscal: On what data do you base your claim that the majority of
Utahns support "Zion curtains"?
Anybody who supports this law no longer gets to whine about the "nanny
One of the fastest ways to get kids interested in something is to hide it.
Not sure where you get your information that "proves" that the Zion
Curtain reduces underage drinking, alcohol abuse and alcohol related
accidents.Utah has a low percentage of underage drinkers because
most people don't drink, not because of silly laws that make it
difficult.The number of people for whom alcohol consumption leads to
addiction is quite low. Only those who abuse alcohol are the people who should
be punished.You are very typical in your assumption that an adult
who merely enjoys a drink with dinner is a reason that kids become alcoholics.
Kids who drink alcohol do not do so because they see their parents enjoying a
drink. They will get a friend or an older brother to buy beer for them. If you don't want your kids to see someone drinking alcohol,
don't bring them to a restaurant that serves it. And nothing prevents
someone from saying "Wow, the is the most delicious drink I've ever
had." The mockingly flippant but appropriately named "Zion
Curtain" is a completely ridiculous concept that hurts the hospitality
industry while doing nothing to promote temperance among teenagers.
The flaw in the theory is the way it is implemented in Utah. Existing
restaurants and bars didn't have to move liquor behind a curtain, only new
businesses. I'm surprised we needed a new law to correct this. A new
retailer could have easily taken the State Of Utah to court for discrimination
The flaw with the current "Zion Curtain" law is that it takes a shotgun
approach rather than a rifle approach. Let's focus on minors only.It would be better to place a receptacle full of orange flags (like Salt Like
City uses at crosswalks) inside restaurants for youths to pick up as they enter.
When they pass the beverage display area, the youths would raise the flags
beside their face, shielding them from the view of ads and of alcohol being
dispensed. At their dining table, when an adult begins to consume an alcoholic
beverage, the youths would again hold up the flag, shielding their view. Servers
could warn "no peeking" as needed.As the minors leave, they
would again use the flags to shield their view, redepositing them in the
original receptacle.In the restaurants owned by more patriotic
Utahns, American flags rather than orange flags could be used.Problem solved.
Editorials like this make me wonder if anyone on the editorial staff has lived
outside UT (a mission doesn't count) for an extended period of time. UT's lower rate of alcohol consumption is because kids are raised
in homes, churches, neighborhoods where the majority of adults don't drink.
It's cultural. Going to a restaurant and seeing alcohol is going to have
no effect. When we lived on the east coast a new family moved into our ward. A
short time later we learned this family wouldn't dine at a certain chain
restaurant because the restaurant had a bar and the name was ".....Bar and
Grill." Five years later their oldest daughter was working at the
restaurant as a hostess. They remained staunch LDS members. Ridiculous laws like these remind me of the Pharisees. Get a grip folks. DN you need more diversity on your staff.
As a parent of teens, I am all in favor of "reasonable" legislation to
discourage young people from drinking alcohol.But this editorial and
the "Zion curtain" laws are NOT reasonable in any way, shape or form.
"Out of sight; out of mind" as a rationale for continuing jejune laws is
as laughable as it is unfortunate coming from the "Editorial Staff" of a
local new outlet that has enough of a credibility problem already!And prohibiting the purchase of alcohol in supermarkets on Sundays? What is
the rationale for that? Equally inane, no doubt. I can't wait to read
DN's editorial on that one!This editorial does prove one thing:
something must change -- either the silly alcohol laws in Utah, or the Editorial
Board for DN... or both!My goodness! This is enough to drive a
person to drink...
Amazing how anyone can believe this law has reduced under age drinking and
compared it to grocery store marketing. A child cannot see alcohol and decide
they want to order a drink unlike people buying junk food at the grocery
store.This law is silly and harmful to our economy. Kudos to the
legislature for considering this. It is something worthy of their efforts unlike
many bills this year.
I wonder if those legislators supporting the "Zion Curtain" ever said -
"Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy state senator, and I will prevent
alcoholism in mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it;
wherefore give me thine honor of your vote."President Benson
said - "There is a host of do- gooders... ready to solve all
human problems with legislation, willing to impose their version of the
millennium on you and me, unwilling to rely on the judgment of the
individual.""The greatest right humans possess is the right
of free choice, free will, free agency. This above all is what today's true
conservative strives to preserve for his fellowmen and for himself. Ironically,
it is this very objective that has helped to give credence to the myths. Because
the conservative fervently believes in human freedom, he is slow to tell
everybody else how to run their lives. It goes against the conservative grain to
be a political, social, or economic busybody, and especially to beat the drums
for government action on virtually every existing problem."Think
lds4gaymarriageThe government, both conservative and liberal, imposes many
laws "...to promote the general welfare...." some of which limit
personal freedoms. Both parties point to laws with which they disagree as being
examples of nanny statism or abridging personal agency. And, if you want to
quote Ezra Taft Benson speaking ex cathedra, do it in context.
The quotes of President Benson speak of general principles of freedom. They are
not limitted to one topic or another. We need to liken them, and the priciples
of freedom they espouse, unto ourselves. Laws should discourage and/or punish
objective harm. This is not the case with the Zion Curtain. You should also
look into the contaxtual meaning of the "general welfare" clause. It is
not a free pass for government to do as it wishes in the name of it promoting
the general welfare of society. I agree that both the left and the
right promote laws that infringe upon individual freedom and equality. We need
to eliminate such laws, no matter who supports them.
I've never had a drink and never had a desire to drink. However I have no
doubt that if I was in a restaurant and saw some alcohol all my self control
would go out the window and I would get plastered. Thank goodness they hide it
behind a wall to keep me from temptation, otherwise I might have to explain to
my children what alcohol is, what it looks like, why people drink, and why we
choose not to drink. That would be way too much parenting for me.
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