Utah lawmakers to consider increasing restaurant liquor licenses in special session

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  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2012 6:30 p.m.

    Article: "It [LDS Church] continues to call for REASONABLE regulations to limit overconsumption..." [emphasis added]

    It seems to me that setting license quotas on a par with surrounding states easily falls in "reasonable" regulation territory.

    Fairness dictates that if overseas missionaries are counted in the census for congressional apportionment, they should be counted for liquor license allocation.

    Now would be a good time for those who call themselves conservative to come up with genuinely conservative (i.e. freedom-affirming, market-based) strategies for limiting the negative social effects of alcohol consumption. Ironically, the GOP-dominated Utah legislature has opted for a socialist approach (state-run retail) and restrictive government regulation (controls on advertising, alcohol content of beer, licensing). It speaks to the intellectual bankruptcy of conservatism that the only way they have chosen to deal with the issue of alcohol is to pursue a classical liberal agenda. Alcohol and humans have been together for millenia. There are plenty of historical models to examine for inspiration. Is the Right so bereft of creative ideas that all they can do with respect to alcohol is adopt socialism? How about applying the principles of liberty and free markets to the problem?

  • williary Kearns, UT
    June 20, 2012 10:33 a.m.


    Your last comment could easily be changed around on yourself by removing the word "drinking" and replacing it with "guns."

    Just as you can responsibly use, store and care for a weapon designed to kill, as long as it works correctly, millions of people are more than capable of having a glass of wine at dinner, and not becoming "Frank the Tank!" And vice versa for those being irresponsible on both fronts.

    DUI laws should be MUCH stronger (as should gun laws IMO), don't think anyone would argue that point.

    And if you believe the Chili's and Applebee's of the world are creating more drunks, you've lived a very sheltered life. As someone mentioned, you'll get much more trouble from drunks sitting in the comfort of their own home.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    June 20, 2012 9:22 a.m.

    What all you "responsible drinkers" fail to understand or admit, even, is that there are a number of "irressponsible drinkers" who impact society. Yes, the same is true with drivers, too, or any other thing. But these problem types don't just visit bars; some go to restaurants (business types in town). If everyone were a responsible drinker, I couldn't care less but just look at the number of broken homes, violent crimes, and unnecessary deaths by DUI from those who have problems drinking. We don't need to encourage that behavior and if you think you can have one without the other, why does the proposal include more money per license to assist with DUI enforcement? Think about that as you enjoy your next cold one.

  • Hans in California Valencia, CA
    June 20, 2012 12:22 a.m.

    It's time to join the 21st century, Utah.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 19, 2012 5:10 p.m.

    It's time we grow up and quit running around yelling about the sky falling. People can have a beer at applebees without the world coming to an end.

  • Doctor Tucson, AZ
    June 19, 2012 4:49 p.m.

    Why would you need to increase liabilities and penalties? Aren't they severe enough? If they're not what does additional licenses have to do with it? Again, this may increase the variety of places people drink, but not the frequency or quantity. But I agree all restaurants should be able to have one. Just make sure they're not a bar in restaurant's clothing. Personally I don't care if they're a bar but I respect utah's view that they don't want bars on every corner.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    June 19, 2012 4:20 p.m.

    Increase the number of licenses for restaurants, any restaurant that wants a license should have one.
    Along with that increase the liability for restaurants that serve a drink to an intoxicated person.
    And DUI penalties for people who drive drunk.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    June 19, 2012 12:23 p.m.

    All this discussion over missed business opportunities for the state? In Utah we've never been party to the rest of the crowd, why are we starting now?

  • Doctor Tucson, AZ
    June 19, 2012 12:02 p.m.

    toosmartfor you--When is the last time you saw someone not get a drink because there was nowhere for them to go? Right, never. More people aren't going to drink as a result of more licenses. There will be more places, restaurants, serving greater variety of foods and atmosphere where I can get my Grey Goose martini with a lemon twist. Made properly it will taste the same at all locations. But the appetizer or seafood/Italian/French or whatever type of food is what will draw me to the restaurant. Oh and if you own a business on the block I'm eating at I might drop in and see something I like and buy it.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    June 19, 2012 10:33 a.m.

    @ Brave Sir

    I have been the "designated driver" on a business trip where people did indeed get drunk, obnoxious and unruly at a reastaurant. Luckily, I was driving them back to the hotel. And what about sporting events, where they down several beers, then drive home....are they not impaired at all?

    I guess in the name of economic diversity or tolerance we need to have more liquor licenses. After all, booze costs money. Does that line of reasoning go for legalizing prostitution as well?

    Why cannot we have a standard that is unique, based upon health issues and not solely religion, which I did not mention but you did?

    I'm impressed that people drink for a couple of reasons, as I have observed over the years: 1) Life is painful and drinking dulls the pain, 2) Social situations are difficult and drinking removes the anxiety, giving "common ground" to participants, 3) Drinking is an illness (as in alcoholicism), or 4) It's a learned response that is expensive not only in terms of what booze costs, but also in all the ills it fosters upon society---which are many.

    Just my point of view....

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    June 19, 2012 9:49 a.m.


    I'm an LDS non-drinker but that is ridiculous. People get drunk in two places: Private parties and bars. People don't get drunk in restaurants. When's the last time you saw somebody leave a restaurant slobbering drunk?

    There's no reason not to increase the number of permits available to restaurants. Bars are a different story, but that's not the issue here.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 18, 2012 7:25 p.m.

    Let's fix this like grownups and quit the posturing and rhetoric.

    Just fix the price for a liquor license at whatever the legislature wants, then have the DABC or whatever agency sel them to any qualified applicant without havaing a limit on them requiring the Legislature to "fix" the shortage every few years.

    Or, if you insist on a limit, make it population based- for every "x" number of Utah residents, allow "y" liquor licenses.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    June 18, 2012 7:20 p.m.

    Free the markets.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    June 18, 2012 5:29 p.m.

    So if we demand something, the State of Utah is obliged to provide it. Wow, we all need more places to get drunk don't we? (How about we demand lower gasoline prices?)