Prices go up in Utah's state-run liquor stores on New Year's Eve, a day before higher federal excise tax rates and higher costs from manufacturers actually take effect.
Ken Wynn, director of the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, said the decision was made so employees could go home after the stores close on New Year's Eve instead of ringing in 1991 by changing prices.Several changes in the state's liquor laws take effect on New Year's Day, including a ban on brown-bagging liquor, except for corked wine, into bars and restaurants.
That ban is being challenged by the Utah License Beverage Association on behalf of beer taverns, which can't sell liquor but profit from the sale of non-alcoholic mixers to customers who bring their own.
Their request for a temporary restraining order against the liquor-law changes is scheduled to be heard by 3rd District Judge James Sawaya Monday morning.
Besides the ban on brown-bagging, Jan. 1 also marks the deadline for taverns and other establishments selling beer to get a state license in addition to meeting local licensing requirements.
These changes were part of the 1990 Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, which also requires restaurants to replace minibottles with metered dispensing devices by July 1, 1991.