Cocktails before dinner have become the center of controversy in Utah after authorities started enforcing a law that bans restaurants from serving drinks to diners before they order food, The Salt Lake Tribune reports
Last month, state liquor-control agents fined nine eateries for allowing customers to sip before they sup, with fines ranging from $500 to $3,000.
The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control launched the crackdown, which has included undercover stings, because it said some restaurants were lax in enforcing the law — designed to help curb intoxication.
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But the new enforcement couldn’t have come at a more inconvenient time for businesses in Park City, where the annual Sundance Film Festival kicks off on Jan. 17.
Undercover officers plan to patrol the local eateries that serve thousands of visitors who swarm the area for the 11-day movie fest.
“There’s absolutely been a change in policy — a huge change,” Rick Golden, a lawyer who represents restaurant clients, told the Tribune.
The Utah Restaurant Association said restaurant owners deserve a more clear explanation of why there has been a change, according to the newspaper
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