Utah Liquor Law and the Immaculate Concoction
A bill under consideration in Utah would require that two of the five members of its Alcohol Beverage Control Commission must be "drinkers". This is pretty funny on its face as no other state in the Union would ever have need for such a law. However, if passed this law won't be the piece of Utah liquor legislation that makes me laugh the most.
In Utah it is against the law to mix a drink in view of the patron that ordered the drink.
I've been looking everywhere for an explanation for this law beyond the well known requirement that Tom Wark be made to chuckle every time he thinks about Utah liquor laws. I can't find another justification for the law.
As you likely know, Utah is populated heavily by members of the Mormon religion who have determined that God does not like his creation to imbibe in alcohol—despite the fact that it was He who presumably created the process of fermentation. So while humorous to me, it's not pure folly that has led to the various odd liquor laws that populate the Utah legal code.
What I'm wondering is what those who wrote this law screening patrons from the view of the bartender hoped to accomplish, or stave off. Would the sight of a drink being mixed give the patron ideas more insidious than the actual drinking of the cocktail, that one assumes is done with eyes open?
If there is no one to see a drink being mixed, did it simply appear: The Immaculate Concoction?
I'm not sure what changes might result from two of five drinkers occupying positions on the Utah Alcohol Beverage Control Commission. Given that upwards of 40% of the state does not claim to adhere to Mormonism, perhaps the move makes sense. I suspect however that given teetotalers will still have a majority on the Commission, change from a humorous set of laws to a rational set of liquor law might be slow in coming.
State Representative Brian Doughty, the sponsor of the bill is reported to have said:
"The state has chosen to be in the liquor industry, for good or bad. We need to ensure that we have a voice on the liquor commission from the people we are regulating."
It's hard to argue with that.