Will HB 456 finally rip the ‘Zion curtain’?

Freddy and his fellow employees smashed the glass partition in their restaurant. It was not an act of violence but of celebration. They broke the glass partition separating the bar from the rest of the restaurant. This bizarre celebration came after Utah, already popular for its quirky laws, decided to do away with the so called “Zion curtain” – a physical barrier separating the bar of the restaurant from their dining rooms. The intended purpose of putting up these curtains was to prevent restaurant-goers, especially children, teens and young adults, from seeing alcohol being poured in a bid to discourage drinking. Zion curtains were mandated by law in 2017.

This was just one of the alcohol laws prevalent in Utah. Subsequently, to address a range of other alcohol laws followed in the state, Rep. Brad Wilson decided to sponsor HB456.

What to expect from HB456

If HB 456 is cleared by the legislature, it would mean that restaurants will no longer be required to put up signs on their premises distinguishing whether they are a restaurant or a bar. As per the existing laws, restaurants were required to put disclaimers on sign boards specifically stating if they are restaurants or bars. However, bars would not be exempted from this action. It will still be mandatory for them to have display signs that would clearly state that they are a bar. Additionally, the sign boards would also need to state that patrons under 21 years of age would not be entertained.

The legislators, demonstrating their disapproval for the bill, still stand by their reasoning that the laws already in place are the need of the hour when alcoholism is on the rise. Furthermore, to prevent the “alcohol culture” from catching the youngsters, the implementation of the Zion curtain should be a must. They also said that the current distinction between restaurants and bars is right and should be maintained. The supporters of the bill, on the other hand, said that there is no evidence to suggest that children are more likely to start drinking if they see alcoholic beverages being poured or prepared.

Under the law

Among the other recommendations made under the proposed HB 456, only individuals 21 years old and above would be allowed to drink. The age of certain persons who are seated 10 feet from the structure of the bar would be electronically verified.

Further, new liquor licenses would be created for those arenas where more than 9,000 people can be seated at a particular time. The procurement of liquor licenses for places that have a seating capacity of more than 9,000 would mean that those people who do have their tickets and also attend the pre-game meals inside the arena can now carry an alcoholic beverage from the dining area to the arena.

This law also discussed how certain malted beverages would be labelled and the associated requirements. Moreover, if the bill is passed to be a law then by July 1, 2018, it would allow a dining club licensee to convert itself into a full-service restaurant licensee or a bar licensee.

It’s time to say no to alcohol

These laws were introduced in Utah to counter the rising instances of alcohol addiction and abuse. Making such laws was meant to be a deterrent for the younger generation so they did not get tempted to try alcohol.

However, apart from legislative measures to curb alcohol addiction, there are medical interventions that can be used to treat this condition. If you or your loved one is suffering from alcohol addiction or experiencing the symptoms of alcoholism, you should seek immediate medical help. Alcohol Addiction Get Help can help you connect with the best alcohol addiction treatment centers near you. Call at our 24/7 alcohol addiction helpline number 866-281-3014 or chat online with our experts to know more about alcohol addiction treatment centers in Texas.