Words & Deeds

Idaho alcohol laws can be screwy, but Utah is always screwier

If Idaho’s R-rated-movie-vs.-alcohol drama embarrassed you before finally being resolved last year, take solace.

No matter how hard we try, Utah will always look more absurd than we do.

That state’s creative relationship with alcohol never ceases to amaze. Starting in mid-May, all restaurants and bars that serve alcohol must conspicuously display a sign indicating that either: “This premise is licensed as a bar not a restaurant” or “This premise is licensed as a restaurant not a bar.”

Hey, if you’re reading my column in print, please know: “You are reading a newspaper not a website.” And if you are reading this column on your phone, “You are reading a website not a newspaper.”

Meanwhile, did you notice the full-page ad in Tuesday’s Idaho Statesman from the American Beverage Institute? It featured the headline “UTAH: COME FOR VACATION, LEAVE ON PROBATION.”

The ad warned that, “Utah recently passed a law making it the first state to lower its drunk driving arrest threshold from .08 BAC to .05 BAC. If you’re planning to visit Utah for vacation, be aware: As little as one drink with dinner before driving home could possibly land you in jail.”

Wait, does a buzz even exist in the Beehive State? Doesn’t Utah serve 3.2 beer? That means you can ram, like, five of those, right? Oh, hold on. That can’t be right. Uhhh. I can see it now: Confused beer geeks trying to do blood-alcohol-content math on bar napkins.

(Actually, you can buy normal beer that’s over 3.2 at places licensed to sell liquor.)

All I know is that High West Distillery and Epic Brewing tours had better start including mandatory cab rides.

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