Liquor establishments in Utah are most often reprimanded for selling alcohol to minors, according to liquor law enforcement information from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
From June 2001 to June 2011, 932 inspections that yielded violations were conducted by the DABC. In those inspections, 368 establishments were cited for serving alcohol to minors, over twice the amount of any other offense.
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The second highest violation was nonmember entry, with 153 violations recorded in the decade. The offense reprimanded establishments who allowed patrons into their business without first purchasing a membership to the bar. That requirement was eliminated from state law in July 2009.
While the DABC functions primarily as a licensing and retail division, the entity also conducts open premise inspections, as well as undercover inspections, according to their website. Any establishment that serves alcoholic beverages, including bars, taverns and restaurants, are subject to inspection.
Once a DABC official observes a violation, the establishment can be fined, or have their liquor license suspended for a certain period.
The average fine paid in the decade’s worth of offenders was $1,211. Those who paid administrative fees paid an average of $127 for violations. The average length of time for suspension was 10 days, of those whose licenses were suspended.
Over the last 10 years, establishments averaged two violations per location for various infractions, such as employees not wearing an identification badge, sale to an intoxicated person, allowing patrons to leave with open containers and consumption of alcohol while on duty.
In the Salt Lake Valley, the cities with the highest average violation per establishment were in South Jordan, Sunset and Centerville.
In South Jordan, only one restaurant, Mi Ranchito Mexicachi Grill, was cited. They were given seven citations in 2005, for offenses including consumption of alcohol while on duty, giving alcohol to minors, and selling and allowing consumption at a bar. They had their liquor license suspended for 14 days, were fined $1,250 and also paid an additional $155 in administrative fees.
Centerville had two establishments, Lone Star Steakhouse and Iggy’s Sports Grill, rack up 11 violations over the 10-year period. Their infractions included free pouring, sale to a minor, and numerous sales to intoxicated persons. Ten of the 11 violations were given to Lone Star Steakhouse.
Sunset’s Circle Lounge and La Casa Chaparros also had 11 infractions in the decade, most of which coming from Circle Inn. Their offenses included sale to a minor, employee consuming alcohol, and allowing patrons to leave with open containers.
The data was compiled by UtahsRight.com for a weekly series in The Salt Lake Tribune’s neighborhood section highlighting information gleaned from public databases. The purpose is not to provide analysis of the data, but rather to provide the raw information in public databases so the public can analyze the data for their own purposes.
UtahsRight.com, the data website for The Salt Lake Tribune, conducts on ongoing statewide quest for DABC records and other public information, including salaries of public employees and court records, using public records requests made under the state’s Government Records Access and Management Act, also known as GRAMA.