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Utah's Legal War on Happy Hour Over for Now

A group representing Utah bar owners has agreed to have its lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on “happy hour” dismissed. Ken Wynn, a board member for the Utah Hospitality Association, says it was no longer needed because the attorney general’s office clarified that liquor licensees can still change their drink prices every day.

“And with that acknowledgement, they stipulated to it, we said fine, we’ll withdraw the lawsuit. That’s what the basis of the whole lawsuit was about in the first place.”

Wynn, who’s a former executive director of the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, says the group was able to get its point across in challenging Senate Bill 314, the 2011 law which banned hourly drink specials.

Assistant Attorney General Kyle Kaiser calls the dismissal of the lawsuit a great outcome that upholds the law.

“Senate Bill 314 and all of the liquor regulation in Utah is contentious and political, but those are decisions to be made by the legislature through input from the citizens of the state, and when they passed that law, it was a valid law.”

A federal judge had already dismissed the complaint back in March, but the UHA was allowed to file an amended complaint.