Boozing with big brother
Not infrequently, state legislators who think of themselves as conservative come up with extraordinarily intrusive laws. In Utah, Senate President Michael Waddoups, R, has a proposal that would treat social drinkers as potential criminals. Distressed because he thinks restaurants are becoming too much like bars, Waddoups has urged managers to keep all offending booze out of sight and to serve only prepared drinks. But urging alone has not proved sufficient, so now Waddoups supports a bill that would require the state’s fewer than 400 clubs and taverns to exercise tighter control over drinkers. He wants managers to scan the driver’s licenses of anyone ordering a drink; that information would then be stored in a “state law enforcement database.” Waddoups says he’d eventually like to extend the monitoring to the nearly 1,100 restaurants that serve beer and liquor — an idea that appalled restaurateur Tom Guinney, who called it “an absolute customer relations fiasco,” reports the Salt Lake Tribune.