POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

New initiative seeks to loosen Utah’s liquor laws

Aug 6, 2023, 7:00 AM | Updated: 9:35 am

SALT LAKE CITY -- The strict liquor laws implemented in Utah since the end of prohibition could loo...

FILE - In this Nov. 8, 2018, file photo, cases of beer are stacked next to each other in a Milwaukee liquor store. Wisconsin's alcohol industry is getting behind an overhaul of the state’s alcohol laws that would lead to stricter enforcement efforts The measure has been hammered out in secret the past five years largely between Republican lawmakers and the multi-billion dollar alcohol industry. (AP Photo/Ivan Moreno, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Ivan Moreno, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — The strict liquor laws implemented in Utah since the end of prohibition could loosen up with a new initiative potentially up for a vote in 2024.

The Title 32B initiative, if approved by voters, would loosen liquor laws, permit alcohol sales in grocery stores, allow mail-order wine, and privatize liquor stores. Jeff Carter, leader of the initiative, said he’s hoping to get more store support.

“We’ll just have to see what happens. I believe that the grocery store chains… will greatly benefit from this,” he said. “So I’m hoping that they will want to get on board.” 

Carter created the initiative to provide greater availability of alcohol to those in Utah who want to buy it.

“I just believe that we have the rights of the other citizens around us to be able to go into Trader Joe’s or Costco or a Harmons or wherever it could be to get the products that they get,” Carter said. “And I think it’s high time that we address that.” 

“It’s going to be in a walled-off section that’s out of view from the public,” he continued. “And it’s going to be managed by people in the section to make sure that no minors are in there. It can be handled in a way that is similar to other states.”

He’s currently working on securing funding and will begin collecting signatures in January to try and place his initiative on the November 2024 ballot.

“I’ve always thought that the people deserve a chance to vote on it and have a final say rather than just keep getting mad about it every so often.”

Carter would need to gather nearly 135,000 signatures by Feb. 15 to have the initiative placed on the ballot in November.

“There’s, you know, a lot of people that were just very negative on it just because of the way initiatives have gone in the past. But, if you don’t ever try then you never know.”

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New initiative seeks to loosen Utah’s liquor laws