Roberts: A real Brew-ha-ha
Here’s a list of things that are illegal in Utah:
Fishing with explosives.
Not drinking milk. (So that explains why our prisons are overrun with lactose intolerant people.)
Doing a rain dance. Or snow dance. Or anything that might "modify the weather."
Causing a catastrophe.
Riding a bike with no hands.
Being an adult.
To be fair, the last one doesn’t have a specific piece of legislation behind it, but it’s apparently a law nonetheless. I say this because once again, it appears state lawmakers have teamed up with the DABC to outlaw adulthood.
You’ve probably heard that last week, the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (DABC) cited Brewvies Cinema Pub in Salt Lake for violating the state liquor law by showing nudity and simulated sex in a place that serves booze.
Basically, Brewvies can show an R-rated flick, and they can serve beer. But if the patron takes that beer into the R-rated movie and sees too much skin on the screen, everyone’s in trouble. Remind me, which political party is it that always complains about government overreach and personal freedom?
Even more ridiculous, it took three undercover agents from the Utah Bureau of Investigation to build enough evidence to warrant this citation. That’s right, three agents were sent to Brewvies to order a beer, watch the movie "Deadpool" and then file an investigative report about it. And here I thought drinking on the job was a fireable offense.
I wish my college guidance counselor had told me I could get paid to go to movies and drink beer. I definitely would not have taken all those science credits had I known this was a potential career choice.
Aside from the hypocrisy of paying people to break the law just to prove it’s a law, aren’t there bigger things to worry about in this state? Millions of residents choke on toxic air all winter long, our schools are dangerously underfunded and underperforming, Utah consistently ranks as the worst in the country for women and income equality, and yet we focus our energy on nudity and beer? It’s not even real beer, for the love of God.
It’s like the DABC is tormented by the possibility that someone, somewhere, might be having fun.
For the life of me I cannot fathom the true point of this law. Are they afraid if you get drunk and watch a sex scene, you’ll become a sex-crazed maniac? If so, then why is it perfectly legal to watch a movie filled with violence and killing and still drink a Budweiser during it? Wouldn’t it be far worse for society to have an alcohol fueled murderer on the streets than some guy in the mood for love?
What I find even more ironic is that you could probably bring an assault rifle to the movies legally in Utah. But beer and a bare bum don’t mix.
Brewvies is now suing the DABC over this citation, claiming it’s a violation of the theatre’s First Amendment rights.
So far the Attorney General’s office and the DABC haven’t released a statement. But it looks like taxpayers will foot the bill for a lawsuit the state has little chance of winning. Remind me again, which political party is always complaining about wasteful spending?
It’s just too bad you can’t outlaw stupidity. But if you could, most of our state lawmakers would be out of a job.
Amy Roberts is a freelance writer, longtime Park City resident, and the proud owner of two rescued Dalmatians, Stanley and Willis. Follow her on Twitter @amycroberts.
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