South Salt Lake officials in Utah (of course) are looking to reduce the number of bars. Currently there are 26 bars in the city of 23,000 people. They want to reduce the number to about 15 bars. Officials say that the reduction is necessary to reduce the amount of crime.
“We’re looking at more of an aggressive stance to reduce the number of bars,” said Mayor Bob Gray. “For a city of 23,000 people, 26 bars is a lot.”
The city council limited the number of bars in the city to 15, but existing bars simply transferred the licenses to new owners. The new resolutions will prevent owners from transferring their licenses.
City council officials plan to research where the city ranks in per-capita-bars. It is interesting that they are planning to eliminate the bars before doing the research. It is not clear if there is a correlation between the number of bars and crime. City officials claim there is. We could not find any studies that supported this theory.
In Utah, which is very short of a theocracy, bars have special laws on how they can operate. Night clubs are only allowed to serve alcohol to members of the club. Visitors must purchase a “visitor card” to enter. Utah begrudging allows the sale of alcohol. The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s website states, “Utah’s liquor laws are based on the general philosophy of making alcoholic beverages available in a manner that reasonably satisfies the public demand. In this respect, however, the state does not promote or encourage the sale or use of alcohol.”
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