Beezelbub Comes To Utah?

You have to admit, it has to be one of the funniest and weirdest anti-alcohol laws in the country:

No Alcohol will be served or available for purchase on election day or when the polls are open.

Yet leave it Utah.

But wait the spawn of the Devil is on his way to rectify the situation and bring Satan back in control of Utah. State Senator Scott McCoy thinks this law should be repealed:

"This whole notion of not being able to drink on the day you’re voting
is just archaic. You can get completely
liquored up at home and go vote if you want to, or you can have a glass
of wine at home while you fill out at an absentee ballot, yet on
Election Day you can’t walk into a restaurant at noon and have a glass
of wine. It seems there’s a bizarre inconsistency."

This guy clearly wants out of Utah politics. But he’s got a point.

No doubt the political leaders in Utah will point out that Senator Scott is in the employ of Beelzebub and has it in mind to lead all the children and weaker souls in Utah to the gates of Hell, all the while chugging down cheap Chardonnay.

Indeed, Senator McCoy has a tough road to hoe ahead of him if he thinks he’ll get this law changed. Consider this little nugget found in the middle of the Associated Press story on Mr. McCoy’s Windmill Tilting expedition:

"Bobbie Coray, a recent appointee to the state liquor commission and
who does not drink for religious reasons, proposed hiding liquor
bottles from view in restaurants so those who don’t drink aren’t
offended by the sight of them."

But here’s my favorite thing about his entire article. The very next sentence following the revelation that simply seeing a bottle of Cabernet would likely offend folks in Utah is this beautifully understated sentence:

"McCoy acknowledges revising any liquor law will be difficult."

You think?

It’s unfortunate that many Associated Press articles don’t carry the reporter’s name on them and also that I’m too lazy to go searching for the name. At the very least this reporter should get the Sense Of Human Award for Journalism.

Utah happens to be one of those states that we look at from afar and think, "what pretty mountains…let’s go ski." But upon closer inspection of the state and its inhabitants’ proclivity to legislate the fun out of living, we almost always end up heading to Nevada. After all, if you are going to do the Devil’s work, you may as well do it in his back yard.

9 Responses

  1. razmaspaz - November 9, 2007

    Utah gets a bad rap. Its a great state filled with mostly great people. If you can get past the state run liquor stores with a poor selection of wine, and an even poorer price point that is. I realize that may be tough for you Tom. They do have some of the best brew pubs I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating at. Salt Lake City is increasingly becoming more and more progressive. My guess is that it won’t be too many years before the state is one of the more progressive in the Union. Oh, and the skiing isn’t half bad either.

  2. Benito - November 9, 2007

    I’ve been traveling a lot recently and have encountered several odd liquor laws. Arkansas has dry counties as well as counties with drive-through liquor stores. Those places seem popular with little old ladies buying pints of bourbon or gin through the window. In the dry counties you have to buy a membership to restaurants that serve alcohol, even if you aren’t drinking. Weird, eh?
    In Denver I went to a Super Target that had a good wine selection, and further investigation revealed that it got a special pharmacy exemption, left over from the Prohibition days when apothecaries could still sell medicines that contained alcohol. As such, this Target is the 3rd most profitable store in the company.
    In Dallas I found an amazing wine selection in the back half of a Shell gas station.
    Albuquerque surprised me with wine/liquor in the grocery stores, but loads of Mexican restaurants that served no alcohol at all. You also can’t drink on flights going into New Mexico, because some idiot got drunk and killed somebody with his rental car after arrival.

  3. Wine Scamp - November 10, 2007

    Funny, that no-alcohol-sales-on-election-day rule is in full force in Mexico, where I lived for 5 years. They also don’t allow alcohol sales on days that the president is making a “state of the union” address. I’m very fond of that latter law, as it conjures up images for me of people getting all pissed off listening to a political speech and then running out to stores to buy up cases of liquor with which to fuel a revolution. (Viva!) Way to head that off, Senores Senadores.
    Texas doesn’t allow alcohol sales before noon on Sunday, I suppose with the assumption that if you’re lost to heaven enough to not be in church at that hour, they shouldn’t further damn you by allowing you to purchase demon liquor as well.
    Love those blue laws!

  4. duanehoff - November 12, 2007

    David Lee Roth said the wildest debauchery on tour with Van Halen always happened in Salt Lake City. All that repression leads to deviance. I can’t wait to go back!

  5. Mary B. - November 12, 2007

    Mormons don’t drink coffee, either. And coffee has 33 known toxins. (It probably contributes to more automobile accidents than alcohol–I have weekly close encounters at the Saturday farmers market, all from java mamas in their soccer SUVies) Will Utah close all the Starbucks and hide the coffee in restaurants? After all, if their protestations are based on religious belief they should be consistent, don’t you think?

  6. vintaste - December 12, 2007

    I have to agree with razmaspaz to some degree but his problem is that his watch was running fast…(Entering Utah. Please set your watch back 15 years). FYI Tom, next time your in SLC checkout the “Metro wine store” on 300 East. Though small, it will have what you’re looking for and the staff will be able to offer additional alternatives. Having recently relocated from Napa, it is my favorite wine store on the planet (my apologies to the Bay Area). And the progress just keeps on coming…. Thought the density of liquor stores is regulated by law, the current Governor (a genuine billionaire businessman) has observed that the size of those store need not be limited and the result is larger store being built to replace the current shoebox-sized outlets. Park City’s new store is a great big thing of beauty. Skiers rejoice! And if you’re stuck in SLC, head for 300 East. Cheers.

  7. rahman22 - August 21, 2008

    There are people who determine who to vote for in an election based on a single issue. Do they or not support abortion rights?Do they or not support unfettered access to guns?

  8. micheelgeorge - August 25, 2008

    In a decision hailed by both companies as a victory, a federal appeals court has reinstated part of a 1995 lawsuit filed by Procter & Gamble Co. against a high-ranking Utah Amway dealer accused of spreading a false rumor linking his competitor with satanic worship.But the three-member panel of the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver also ruled this week that Amway Corp.
    Utah Drug Addiction

  9. Bend it like Brentham - October 7, 2008

    That is a pretty odd law. I had never heard of it until just now. I don’t see how the picture is relevant though.

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