Free Market

Zion Wall: Barrier to Free Enterprise


The “Zion Wall” is the nickname for a barrier in certain restaurants, required by Utah law, behind which bartenders must keep open bottles of liquor, beer taps, and their drink-mixing displays.

A recent survey conducted by Libertas Institute found that 63% of voters in Utah reject one of the basic premises upon which the law was argued, namely, that imposing the barrier will prevent children from becoming tempted and turning into early drinkers. 55% of Utah voters also believe that the requirement is unfair to businesses.

In the 2013 general session, a bill that would have repealed this requirement sailed through the House on a 63-11 vote. Led by Senator Valentine, the Utah Senate’s chief alcohol policy architect, the other chamber rejected the proposal and the “wall” remains standing.

For more insight on this issue, read our interview with a restaurant owner who objects to the law.

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