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Old-Fashioned DUI & Liquor Legislation Repealed in Utah

Every state gets to choose the components of its own criminal code, although some alcohol-related laws have federal roots. For instance, every state raised its legal drinking age to 21 and lowered the blood alcohol content at which a driver is presumed impaired to 0.08 percent at federal urging through strings attached to highway funding, according to Fort Lauderdale DUI Lawyer William Moore. Utah, however, has some particularly stringent laws, which have gone hand in hand which the voter’s comparatively strict views of alcohol consumption. The state has elected to change some of its laws recently, however, in light of new times and the troubled economy.

One of the more famous relics of drinking in Utah is the so-called Zion Curtain, a piece of green fabric that serves as a partition between the bar, where drinks are poured and mixed, and the eating area in restaurants. That requirement, along with many others, will be lifted in May of this year. The requirement that establishments that sell liquor must operate as private clubs – with membership fees – will also be dropped. Tourism advocates in the state believe the harsh liquor laws are stunting potential funds. Broward DUI Lawyer William Moore agrees that the legislation could stave off carefree vacationers. Each individual bar requires a membership, so even locals are unlikely to go bar-hopping on the weekends, and a membership is required to go into the bar – not just to drink. A one-year membership at a Utah bar costs a minimum of $12. Nonetheless, there are ways to bring in guests with a temporary membership, so locals and tourists alike frequently share temporary three-week memberships.

Utah currently brings in about $6 billion annually from tourism, leading the proponents of lifting the liquor restrictions to believe that the changes could raise the profits or at least maintain them during tough economic times. Alcohol policy in Utah has typically been more conservative than in other U.S. states, including neighboring Western party destination Nevada. Nonetheless, tourists are attracted to Salt Lake City and the scenic national parks in the state. Perhaps the largest attraction is the Sundance Film Festival, hosted annually in Park City, Utah.

Florida’s tourism industry is about 10 times larger than Utah’s, at close to $60 billion. The state’s reputation as a beach vacation spot and a great party destination for spring break have fueled the tourism and hospitality industries. Beachside bars and restaurants, in particular, reap the benefits of the travelers in the spring months, as well as the part-time residents during the winter. Florida alcohol policy is currently in line with national trends, with comparable DUI laws and liquor sales requirements.

Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney William Moore provides outstanding DUI defense in south Florida. If you have been charged with a DUI, contact William Moore Criminal Defense, P.A., a Fort Lauderdale DUI lawyer with offices in Fort Lauderdale-Dade, Broward, and Fort Lauderdale Counties.

This article should be used for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice nor as implied representation of any person.

Article contributed by Mallory Shipman, Esq.

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