Committee Revives, Passes Bill to Sell Liquor on Some Holidays

(KCPW News) Some state liquor stores may be open on holidays after all. After previously rejecting a bill to create a pilot program for selling alcohol on holidays, the House Government Operations Committee approved it this morning. Republican Representative Lee Perry amended the bill to clarify that on certain major holidays, stores could not remain open, despite the pilot project.

“I put in New Years, Thanksgiving and Christmas, but also with concerns for the possibility of someone being over-intoxicated, I put in probably one of the leading holidays for people who like to drink and party, which is July 4th. Most of the rest of the holidays I don’t see a real major problem with,” he said.

But that change wasn’t enough to satisfy drunken driving victim Anna Kay Waddoups, who’s the wife of Utah Senate President Michael Waddoups. She testified that any time more liquor becomes available, there will be more problems.

“So, even though it seems so innocuous and such a simple thing to do, I caution you that this may not turn out the way that you think that it might do. I think that it will create problems and it will be very difficult to pull back,” she said.

The legislation, sponsored by Democratic Representative Patrice Arent, was approved by an 8-to-2 vote, and now moves to the House floor. The bill doesn’t specify which stores will open on holidays during the pilot project, but Arent says the DABC has indicated it will likely include stores in tourist areas like Park City and Moab.