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Proposed Bill Could Bring Down ‘Zion Curtains’


Two Republican lawmakers are reportedly working on a bill that would allow the so-called “Zion Curtains” to come down in restaurants.

The Zion Curtain is a 7-foot wall in restaurants to shield customers and children from the view of bartenders mixing and pouring alcoholic beverages.

The bill is currently being drafted by Rep. Brad Wilson and Sen. Jerry Stevenson, both Republicans. It has not been filed yet, but Wilson has said it will also include provisions dealing with training servers and a possible price hike for liquor.

Gov. Gary Herbert hinted at the legislation during his State of the State address this week.

“This is about public health and public safety,” Herbert said. “We will ensure that our regulations, coupled with additional state resources, focus on education, prevention and enforcement practices that are proven to reduce underage drinking, alcohol abuse and impaired driving.”

State senate leaders wouldn’t comment on the draft legislation, but said it will at least bring some robust discussion about Utah’s current liquor laws. Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund:

“I think we’re going to have a really good debate in the legislature this year in both houses on alcohol policy,” said Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund, adding, “I think that debate is going to move forward so it will be interesting to see where we end up.”

Critics of the Zion Curtain say it places an undue burden on businesses and that it doesn’t do very much in terms of shielding children from alcohol.

Nicole Nixon holds a Communication degree from the University of Utah. She has worked on and off in the KUER Newsroom since 2013, when she first joined KUER as an intern. Nicole is a Utah native. Besides public radio, she is also passionate about beautiful landscapes and breakfast burritos.
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