Tuesday, February 02, 2010

HB 223 -- Applying Free Market Principles to Liquor Licensing

Blue in Red Zion:

This bill, if it were to pass, would eliminate the population requirement for liquor licenses issued to restaurants and open the liquor license process to the free market – allowing any restaurant to receive a license if they are willing to pay the fee.

For those of you who may not know, there is a limited number of restaurant liquor licenses (and bar licenses for that matter) that the liquor commission can give out to restaurants across the state, and this number is tied to the state population. In fact, only one license can be distributed per 5,200 people if the restaurant wishes to sell liquor (these laws apply to, say, the Olive Garden). The bill goes further, if a restaurant wishes to sell wine, heavy beer, or beer (but not spirits), it too lifts the population requirement of one license per 9,300 people (these laws apply to that local wing joint you may love).

There's a reality that just because a place sells alcohol doesn't mean that you have to partake. And, if this means that more restaurants can open and be profitable (because there is a large profit margin in alcohol, as well as soft drinks), then I'mm all for it.


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