ST. GEORGE — Current Utah law does not allow restaurants and bars to offer “beer-to-go.” The alcohol must be purchased inside the establishment selling it and cannot be delivered otherwise. A bill filed Thursday would change that.
“The problem is that many restaurants rely on beer, wine, and liquor sales to make ends meet,” state Sen. Derek Kitchen, D-Salt Lake City, said in a Tweet Thursday. “Unfortunately, under Utah law, restaurants are unable to sell alcohol with this new model of operating.”
Kitchen, who is also a restauranteur, further noted that the way restaurants operate has changed since the onset of the pandemic.
Though the option to dine-in is available to a limited degree in many places, restaurants have otherwise had to resort to curbside service and deliveries through third parties like Door Dash, Uber Eats and Grubhub.
“In order to survive, most had to change their business model to accommodate take-out & delivery,” Kitchen posted.
Senate Bill 119, titled “To-Go Beverage Service Amendments,” would allow sealed alcoholic beverages to be given to customers waiting on the curb or delivered to their homes through a third party.
While that is considered a way to help restaurants to continue surviving in the COVID-19 era, it also is also seen as a way to help lessen the spread of the virus by reducing contact with others by not having to go inside to order.
The problem is that many restaurants rely on beer, wine, and liquor sales to make ends meet. Unfortunately, under Utah law, restaurants are unable to sell alcohol with this new model of operating.
— Senator Derek Kitchen (@derekkitchen) January 21, 2021
Under the bill, restaurants can offer alcoholic beverages to go if:
- The alcohol is in its original container and be no more than 12 ounces.
- It does not have more than 10% alcohol by weight, or 8% by volume.
“It’s time for the UT legislature to modernize our alcohol policy by removing burdensome regulations and preventing business from innovating,” Kitchen said in an additional Twitter post. “This is the right thing to do.”
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