Utah Brewery Map

Monday, July 11, 2011

We're Freaks, Once Again!

SB 314. If you'll recall this is the brilliant legislation that eliminated drink specials, allows the governor to appoint the chairman of the liquor commission, bans mini-kegs and ties the number of liquor licenses to population quotas and public-safety officers.

When laws like this go into effect, people from outside of Utah take notice and when noted publications such as Time Magazine publish stories such as No More Happy Hour Ever! How Utah Just Got to Be an Even Drier State. The eyes and ears of readers really perk up.

The Utah Hospitality Association, which is trying to sue the Governor and legislature claims that the system of fixed pricing for alcohol under SB 314 is a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act as it "deprives the benefits of free, open and unrestricted competition in the market" from the plaintiffs. The lawsuit also states that the extreme scarcity of available liquor licenses — which the DABC claimed in its spring 2011 newsletter was zero to one license for every five applicants per month — creates an unreasonable restraint on trade.

Since states are in charge of their own individual liquors laws it's likly that nothing will come from this lawsuit. However, the state was successfully sued nearly a decade ago when all forms of bar advertizing were banned. This law was repealed because it violated the first amendment.

I'm not saying this new lawsuit won't be successful, I hope it will be. But we all know how the game is played. Even if SB 314's laws are repealed Senators Valentine and Whadupps will be crafting retaliation legislation to balance their views over that of the states growing minority. Trust me, they have discussed and tried to do far worse recently in regards to Utah's liquor laws .

I guess what I'm saying is, Cheers to the Utah Hospitality Association for fighting this and trying to keep the state of Utah from becoming an even bigger freak in the ever growing religious global carnival. But, I'm not holding my breath. Here's a link to the Time Magazine article.


1 comment:

Plang said...

Thanks Mikey.
Not since the temprence movement 100 years ago have some craziness been the norm. I guess I should start setting up my still in the woods.