Utah to End Antiquated Liquor Laws

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on March 17, 2009 3:00 pm

Lost somewhere between Prohibition and contemporary society, Utahns are about to see an end to their antiquated liquor laws.  After 40 years, the Zion Curtain is scheduled to come down as early as July 1st.  "Nobody thought this was doable, but through it all I thought we were going to get to an equitable end point," Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. said in an interview. 

Well, what exactly are the governor and state legislators doing?  No longer will bars be private, requiring a membership fee.  No longer will their be a glass partition, dubbed the Zion Curtain, between the bartender and customer.  The private club system and partition provision were enacted in 1968 at the urging of the Mormon church. 

There are still some odd quirks in the changes.  Namely, alcoholic drinks can not be mixed in public view.  The Church will only endorse the changes in exchange for tougher penalties on drunk drivers and increased liability for bar owners serving intoxicated customers who go on to commit harm to others.

The changes come as a big win for the state’s $6 billion-a-year tourism industry.  The hassle of filling out a form to go into a bar, paying memberships, and the oddity of the Zion Curtain will soon be distant memories.   Après ski in Park City will be a whole new scene!

photo by BWJones

Zeke Piestrup ( More Posts)

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