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Bill proposes to ban drive-thru liquor sales, increase restaurant licenses

A bill prohibiting alcohol sales at drive-up windows and that makes more restaurant liquor licenses available sailed through the Senate Business and Labor Committee on Thursday.
A bill prohibiting alcohol sales at drive-up windows and that makes more restaurant liquor licenses available sailed through the Senate Business and Labor Committee on Thursday.
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SALT LAKE CITY — A bill that would prohibit alcohol sales at drive-up windows and also make more restaurant liquor licenses available sailed through the Senate Business and Labor Committee on Thursday.

SB250 also clarifies that restaurants may not sell alcohol to go, though the law still allows unfinished wine bottles to be taken home as long as they're recapped.

Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, said Utah alcohol policy is in a good place right now and the changes would not disrupt the state's low underage drinking and DUI rates.

The bill slightly alters the state liquor permit formula to create more full-service and limited-service restaurant licenses. At the same time, it reduces the number of tavern and reception center permits. It also increases the fee for a limited-service restaurant license, which allows only beer and wine, $450 to $1,275.

Rules for transfer sales of liquor licenses also would change to prevent hoarding, Stevenson said. The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control would also have to post on a public website an intended transfer at least 10 days before approving it.

No one spoke against the proposed changes to the law. The committee unanimously moved the bill to the Senate floor.