FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Find quick answers to some frequent questions below. You can also contact the DABS Help Desk at (801) 977-6939 or email@example.com.
Sometimes a product is removed from DABS stores or delisted from our catalog. A product can be delisted for multiple reasons: a supplier discontinues a product; a product does not perform adequately to continue a listing; a product has remained stocked out for too long.
If your product has been delisted or you have further questions, please reach out to the DABS Help Desk at (801) 977-6939 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance.
If your regular store does not stock a specific product, but you have seen it on the shelves at other stores, you might wonder why is that product not in my store? We base our product selection in stores on a wide array of information including sales, trends, location and more. This determines what stores carry which products.
RULES & LAWS
You must be at least 21 years of age to purchase, possess or be provided with any alcoholic beverage in Utah. Therefore, proper identification is required to prove age before a person may obtain an alcohol product. In all bars and bar areas in restaurants, a patron who appears to be younger than 35 years old must also have their identification checked by an approved scanner. If you clearly appear to be older than 35 years old, you might not need to provide identification.
Some businesses will always require an identification check as their business policy. It is best practice to have your I.D. ready if you are planning on ordering an alcoholic beverage. Acceptable forms of identification include:
- A valid passport
- A valid U.S. driver’s license
- A valid U.S. military identification card with a date of birth and a photo
- A valid U.S. state issued identification card.
A driving privilege card allows an individual the privilege to operate a motor vehicle in Utah, however these cards are not valid for proof of age. Vertical driver's license should be inspected for date of birth.
Find more information on acceptable forms of identification.
Packaged liquor, wine, flavored malt beverages and heavy beer (beer which is greater than 5.0% alcohol by volume) are available in state liquor & wine stores and many smaller package agencies located throughout Utah.
Utah also offers a world class wine selection at several specialty wine stores located throughout the state. There are more than 130 package agencies that offer a more modest selection of products. Many hotels and resorts have package agencies to accommodate their guests.
Beer, an alcohol product that contains at least .5% but not more than 5.0% ABV, is available in bottles or cans and may be purchased at most grocery and convenience stores in Utah.
Alcoholic beverages are available throughout the state for on-premises consumption in licensed restaurants, bars, taverns, hotels, resorts, recreational facilities, banquet facilities, reception centers and airport lounges. Patrons may order spirits by the drink, wine by the glass or bottle, and beer in bottles, cans, and on draft depending on the business’s license type.
State law prohibits consuming liquor (which includes heavy beer, wine and flavored malt beverages) in a public building, park or stadium unless there is a license or event permit to do so. Consuming alcohol on a public bus is also prohibited. Neither may a person be intoxicated in a public place to a degree as to endanger themselves or another or unreasonably disturb others.
A person may not bring an alcoholic beverage onto the premises of an establishment open to the general public if it is to be consumed on the premises, such as a grocery store, convenience store, a retail sales outlet, a mall or any public business offices, etc. Consuming or having an open container of alcohol in the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle is also prohibited.
There are some exceptions to where you may have a previously opened container of alcohol:
- You may have a previously opened container of alcohol in the trunk of a motor vehicle so long as it is not accessible to the driver or passenger area of the vehicle;
- You may, with the permission of the proprietor, bring bottled wine into a properly licensed restaurant or bar to be served by the staff of the establishment. This exception does not apply if the establishment does not have an appropriate DABS license;
- You may bring alcoholic beverages and consume them in a limousine under certain restrictions. For example, the driver of a limousine must be separated from the passengers by a partition, and the limousine's service must begin and end at the passenger's hotel, temporary domicile or residence.
- You may bring alcoholic beverages and consume them on a charted bus under certain restrictions, such as on the way to your destination and on return, only if you are dropped off at your hotel, temporary domicile, or residence at the end of the trip. If you are dropped off at a location where you will likely have to drive to get back to your hotel or home, then alcohol may not be consumed in the chartered bus on the return trip.
Local city, town, or county laws may further restrict consumption of alcoholic beverages in public places. These ordinances may be subject to change, so you should contact local officials for the latest updates.
Alcohol laws are enforced primarily by the Utah Department of Public Safety's State Bureau of Investigation and by local law enforcement agencies. Read more about enforcement and violations.
These agencies have the authority to confiscate alcohol, issue citations, close events, and pursue criminal charges against those found to be in violation of Utah laws. The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Services (DABS) is not a law enforcement agency, though it does have legal authority to enforce the statutes and rules of it's licensees.
DABS is a regulatory agency that issues licenses and permits to wholesale and retail establishments, such as restaurants, bars, beer establishments, and organizers of temporary events, etc. DABS is also an excellent resource for training and assisting licensees and the general public regarding any questions concerning Utah's alcoholic beverage laws.
Generally, the answer is no. Under Utah law, an alcoholic product includes all liquor, flavored malt beverages, wine, heavy beer, beer or anything with an alcohol content of at least .5% by volume (ABV) or higher. Utah is a control state, meaning all manufacturers and suppliers may only supply alcohol products to the DABS or licensed beer wholesalers.
DABS and the beer wholesalers then distribute alcohol products through its state liquor stores, package agencies, licensees and permittees. These licensed retailers are the only ones who may then re-sell alcohol products to consumers in Utah. No one else may import, provide, sell, or supply alcohol.
Exceptions under 32B-4-414 Unlawful possession: There are some exceptions for imported alcohol for personal consumption only. Possession of alcohol may never be brought into Utah by individuals to be re-sold for any reason. Imported alcoholic products may not be used at any DABS-licensed or permitted business or event. Alcohol may not be given or sold to other individuals. It may not be sold or gifted at private social functions, auctions or charitable events.
Individual Importation Exceptions include:
- A person who clears U. S. Customs when entering this country may possess a maximum of nine liters of liquor purchased from outside the United States.
- A person who enters this state may possess a maximum of nine liters of liquor purchased from outside the state.
- A person who moves their residence into Utah may bring and possess their previously purchased liquor into Utah during the move.
- A person who inherits liquor may transport it into Utah and possess it if they provide sufficient documentation to DABS that they are legally a beneficiary of the estate.
- A person may transport or possess liquor purchased on a military installation if it is not as a gift to another person. The maximum amount the person may possess in this case is two liters of either wine or liquor or 2 liters in combination of the two, and one case of heavy beer or flavored malt beverages that does not exceed 288 ounces (9 quarts or 8.5 liters).
- No prior approval or fees are required for these exceptions.
Accredited foreign diplomatic missions that establish a mission presence in Utah may ship, possess and purchase alcoholic beverages under certain exceptions granted under the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations.
No. Utah law prohibits a member of the alcoholic beverage industry from:
- Giving away any of its alcoholic products to any person
- Serving its products as part of a promotion at a private social event
- Offering its products to the general public without charge
- Contributing money or products to a civic or community event which influences a retailer to exclusively purchase and sell their products
Remember, the sponsor may not require, induce, expect, or influence the organization to buy their products. Neither can the sponsor buy the products for your organization, or condition its donation on you buying its products. Read more about Utah's Tied House laws.
Utah's state liquor and wine stores have excellent selections of wines, spirits, and full-strength beers. The DABS keeps the stores well-stocked. However, if you want a product that DABS does not normally carry, or that is rare and somewhat difficult to obtain, you may place a special order in advance.
The DABS will accommodate your needs by ordering a product from any source that can legally sell it to them. Foreign products must be available through a U.S. importer. A wide variety of beers, including some from local micro-breweries, are available in most grocery stores in Utah.
Single Event Permits:
You must obtain a DABS single event permit if you want to sell liquor (including distilled spirits, wine, flavored malt beverages, or heavy beer) at your public or private event and plan to:
- Provide a cash bar for their guests
- Provide alcohol at a hosted bar where alcohol is included in the price of admission
- Be open to the general public
There are some limitations associated with these permits:
- Permits are only available to bona fide corporations, partnerships, limited liability corporations, incorporated associations, churches, and political organizations that have been in existence for at least one year prior to the date of application. They are also available to recognized subordinate lodges, chapters, or other local units of these entities.
- An applicant must have local consent and relevant permits from the local jurisdiction where the event is being held prior to applying to DABS.
- Permit applications must be turned into the DABS at least 30 days prior to your event, and the application must be complete before it can be processed. Applications submitted outside of these guidelines risk non-issuance of a permit. Additionally, due to statutory restrictions, applications received less than seven business days prior to the event will not be considered. The seven days does not count the day the application is received and the date of the event.
Temporary Beer Permits
If you only want to sell beer at a special event, you may obtain a temporary beer permit instead of the single event permit.
Temporary event permits for the sale of beer are issued for on-premises consumption at a temporary event that does not last longer than 30 days. Temporary beer permits are available for anyone. The application process is the same as for single events and must have local consent and permits from the local jurisdiction where the event is being held prior to applying to DABS.
Privately Hosted Events
If you do not charge your guests for alcoholic beverages and do not charge for admission to an event where alcohol is provided such as a hosted bar, and your event is not open to the general public, then you will not need a permit from the DABS or from a local jurisdiction to serve liquor and beer at your event.
Group events may also be held in a DABS-licensed restaurant or bar. If you do, you have the choice of having the establishment serve your guests alcohol under the restaurant or the bar license. Of course, all of the laws relating to alcoholic beverage service in restaurants or bars would apply.
You could also choose to lease or rent all or a portion of the restaurant or bar. You may furnish your own alcohol to your private guests without charge if the licensee will allow it. Either way, the restaurant or bar will likely charge your group a fee for this service.
If you hold your event in an unlicensed location, the location must not be open or accessible to the general public.