Mobile app would direct people to state run liquor stores

By on February 6, 2017


Alcohol commissioners are weighing Utah's strict liquor laws with developing a mobile app directing tourists to state-run liquor stores. (Photo: Ramon Casha/ Flickr)
Alcohol commissioners are weighing Utah’s strict liquor laws with developing a mobile app directing tourists to state-run liquor stores. (Photo: Ramon Casha/ Flickr)

SALT LAKE CITY –Alcohol commissioners are weighing Utah’s strict liquor laws with developing a mobile app directing tourists to state-run liquor stores.

The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control would have to ensure its app wouldn’t illegally promote liquor consumption in the state where many people belong to the alcohol-prohibitive Mormon church, reported the Salt Lake Tribune (http://bit.ly/2lcb8c7).

Commissioner Olivia Agraz asked department staff on Tuesday to research the cost.

“I’d like to request a new level of innovation,” Agraz said. “I’ve brought this up for three years and it’s gone nowhere.”

Executive Director Sal Petilos said the department is using the state’s technology services on the project.

He said resources are thin and other projects can take precedence over the app.

“There is value in a mobile app,” he said, “but there are constraints that we have in the department.”

Commission chairman John T. Nielsen said the app could be perceived to be promoting alcohol.

The app would direct people to state-run liquor stores and show what’s in stock.

Hive Winery owner Jay Yahne says the small-scale operation can’t put his wines in every liquor store owned by the state.

He said customers could more easily find the Hive Winery label if they had an app that could direct them to the nearest store that has it.

“It would be a great thing,” he said. “I’d like to see it sooner than later.”