Letter to the Utah DABC

To Whom it May Concern,

I am writing as a concerned citizen to shed light on the unreasonably strict alcohol regulations here in the State of Utah, particularly with regard to Title 32B of the Utah Code (AKA “The Beverage Control Act”) relating to the “prohibition of discounting practices.”  While I understand that the intent behind said law is to “discourage the over-consumption of alcohol,” I worry that there may in fact be serious, unintended consequences associated with it.  Utah is compromising many opportunities and potential benefits by reinforcing a policy that provides little returns.  I’m afraid that the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control may not be doing the job we, as taxpayers, expect it to do, as there is little rhyme and reason attached to its policies.

Following are 16 reasons why I believe “Happy Hour” should be legalized in the State of Utah:

1.     Because drinking is a central activity of business culture that is great for socializing, networking, or even selling.  Inviting others out to HH sounds classier and more professional than hitting up any old bar at any old time for any old reason with any old people.

2.     Because happy hour specials would keep working people and young professionals downtown where they can spend their money and grow the economy.

3.     Many argue that lifting the ban on happy hour would threaten restaurants and bars as people would likely look to casinos for free drinks.  We have no gambling establishments in Utah, so that issue does not apply here.  In fact, restaurant and bar owners have been fighting the Utah DABC for years for the ability to advertise discounted drinks, as well as the number of available licenses in the state… But we won’t get into that.

4.     Because discounted drinks from 5-7 would give people enough time to sober up before getting home safely at a decent time.

5.     I thought Utah Republicans are all about “hands-off” and “laissez-faire” policy?  Who the hell are you to regulate how much I spend on what I eat or drink?  I know 60% of the state’s population and 80% of the State Legislature belong to the Mormon Church, but if the other 40% of the population and 20% of elected officials want to party, just let us party!  Opponents to drinking don’t have to come –  In fact, they’re not even invited.

6.     Because the Red Door gets expensive.

7.     Because it’s embarrassing when visitors from out-of-state ask where they can grab the best Happy Hour, and we respond with, “Wherever you’re from.”

8.     Because the cash I have left until my next pay period will only buy me one more tank of gas + a $5 drink.  45-minute commute FTL.

9.     15-hour workday.  That’s why.

10.  Because I want to forget about how unproductive I was during my 15-hour workday because I was writing this letter.

11.  Because I need to dilute the overabundance of Red Bull currently in my system with vodka.

12.  Because the additional disposable income I have in my pocket that is saved from buying discounted rather than full-priced drinks could be donated to charity.

13.  Because hipsters want to drink too, but they can’t afford full-priced drinks.  So they end up screwing over their one employed friend to pay for all their drinks.  It’s just not fair.

14.  Because I want to look cool by ordering a drink with my dinner but I don’t want to spend more than $3 on a stupid cosmo my boyfriend can make himself.

15.  Because it’s snowing.

16.  Because it’s Tuesday.

I am speaking on behalf of the portion of the citizens of this state who rock when I say something needs to be done.  As you can see, Utah is missing many opportunities by continuing its ban on discounted drinks, and there are many in support of lifting the ban, including restaurant/bar owners and everyday citizens alike.  We hope you will carefully reevaluate and reconsider this piece of Title 32B, if not the whole damn thing, before we move to another state where we will bring our talent and our money and consume all the $2 cucumber martinis we want.

Sincerely,
Kathleen Villanueva, et al.

P.S.  I promise I’m not an alcoholic – I quit drinking three months ago.  😉

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