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Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Opposite of Beervana

Stealing profligately from Maureen Ogle, I point you to a fascinating document in the Salt Lake Tribune about what beer drinking is like in their (un)fair city.
A plan to do away with Utah's private club law and replace it with electronic identity checks has the backing of Utah bar owners.
(Before we go on with the story, it's worth noting that the "private club" is a draconian Sharia-like containment law designed to shield practitioners of the dominant religion from witnessing anything as unsavory as a gent sampling Laphroaig 12 15. It could be worse. When I spent 2 1/2 years in high school there in the 80s, you needed a private club to sell coffee. No joke. Now, continuing on....)
But they're troubled that the card scans could gather thousands of names and addresses of their patrons and dump them into a law-enforcement database....

Under [State sen John Valentine's] plan, everyone entering a club, whether they're 21 or 101, would have to swipe their identification to verify it is genuine. The patron's name, address, driver license number and date of birth would be logged into the database, along with the time and place they were drinking.

That information would be saved for somewhere between 10 days and 30 days -- Valentine hasn't decided yet -- and then be purged.

Valentine said the scanning would help cut down on underage drinking and could give investigators a tool, if a patron leaves the bar and causes an accident, to show where and when the person was drinking.

It could also be used in traffic stops. If an officer suspected a driver might have been drinking, the officer could run the license and determine if the driver was coming from a bar

The database and its management would be paid by a fee assessed to bar owners, which they could recoup through a cover charge or by raising prices, Valentine said.

Did I mention the phrase Sharia-like?


  1. Actually this seems like a pretty good idea. If you can't locate one of your wives you could just call the police and find out which bar she has been at.

  2. wait wait, never mind, they probably wouldn't be old enough to go to these anyway.

    There is no use.

  3. Utah should just make everyone use Twitter to update their entry/exit into a bar.

    Where did your strawman get a 12yo Laphroaig? He must have had a 15.

  4. You lay offa my straw man. He's hammered on Laphroaig.

  5. Why not just use subcutaneous RF chips? I mean, we all got them implanted in the last 8 years anyway... ;). Really though, I'm going to a large conference of chemists in SLC in March. "Networking" at good watering holes is always a large part of the conference, so it will be interesting to see how it works there. And I'll be on the lookout for Polygamy Porter.

  6. I actually appreciate that Utah stands as an example to the rest of the states of just how important it is to allow the states to regulate alcohol. If they want to live like that, so be it. I would support such a system for drugs as an alternative to the "war on drugs."

  7. Having spent a 2 month ski vacation in SLCin the not too distant past, from a beer drinking perspective, I don't see this as a big deal. Their brewed beer is good, but at 3.2% you get full before you get drunk...keep all the data you want.