It’s no secret that the Beehive State has some more strict drinking laws. Let’s take a look at the facts.
Dining in Bryce Canyon Country
Can I drink alcoholic beverages in Utah? Yes, you can imbibe! Although Utah’s drinking laws are strictly regulated by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), it’s a lot easier to get a drink than it used to be—even on a Sunday in Bryce Canyon Country.
Proof of Age: Utah’s liquor laws apply to residents and visitors. Like the other 49 United States, Utah’s legal drinking age is 21 for the purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Anyone appearing to be under the age of 35 must show proof of age to purchase alcohol, and your driver’s license or state/international I.D. will be scanned to verify that it’s legit.
Alcohol Content: Beer on tap is 3.2% alcohol. Cocktails are measured to 1.5 fluid ounces of primary liquor and can be mixed with a second liquor for a max of 2.5 fluid ounces.
State Liquor Stores: Packaged liquor, wine, and heavy beer (over 3.2%) are available for sale in Utah State Liquor Stores. (Beer less than 3.2% alcohol can be purchased in grocery and convenience stores). Liquor stores sell alcohol Monday through Saturday. Ruby’s Inn has a State Liquor Store, as do the communities of Escalante and Panguitch.
Bars, Restaurants, and Clubs: Some bars and restaurants have a “restaurant liquor license”—basically a permit to sell wine and beer only—while others with a full liquor service license are allowed to sell a full spectrum of alcoholic beverages (liquor by the drink, wine by the glass or bottle, and beer in bottles or on tap). Most alcohol can be served from 11:30 a.m. until midnight; low-alcohol beer can be served until 1 a.m. The catch? You have to order food in order to be served an alcoholic beverage in establishments with restaurant liquor licenses. Not hungry? Head to a club, where dining isn’t required to order a drink.
Quirky Laws Past and Present: There are still a few quirky rules on the books. For example, Utah’s infamous “Zion Curtain” means drinks can be served but not seen: no full bottles openly on display and no watching the bartender mix your Martini or pull the beer tap. Although legislation was recently proposed to take down the Zion Curtain, for now, expect your drink to be mixed or poured behind a partition sans the Tom Cruise in Cocktail performance.
DUI: Utah’s legal limit is .08 blood alcohol content. There is a mandatory 48 hours in jail for first-time DUI offenders. Please drink responsibly.