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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Utah Law Requires ID Scanners for Age Verification

March 30, 2010

The Law allows private clubs to covert to a public club if they use an ID Scanner to check people who look younger than 35 years out.

Its an effort to make the state boost the state's $6 billion a year tourism industry and remove Utah's notoriously quirky liquor laws. Tourists in search of a beer and a bite to eat after hitting the ski slopes frequently walk out of bars once told they're for members only. A separate membership, costing at least $4, is required at every bar.

The new law will also allow restaurants to take down partitions known as "Zion Curtains" that separate bartenders from customers in restaurants. Currently, bartenders or servers must walk drinks around the bar before they're allowed to serve them.

The name "Zion Curtain" is a reference to the state's religious heritage as the home of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which tells its members to abstain from alcohol. The Mormon church counts about 60 percent of the state's population among its members

As part of a compromise, the state will impose tougher DUI and underage drinking penalties. Utah will also become the first state in the country to require bars to scan the ID of anyone who appears younger than 35 before being allowed to enter.

Information obtained through the ID scan, including name, age and address, will be kept on site for seven days so it can be accessed by law enforcement, despite concerns that keeping the information is a violation of privacy.

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