Utah liquor board lacks industry representation

By JOSH LOFTIN | August 13, 2011 | 10:45 AM EDT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — An Associated Press review of Utah's licensing and regulatory commissions has found that industry representatives are included on all of them, except the state liquor board.

State law prohibits anyone with ties to liquor license holders from serving on the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control board, which issues liquor licenses and disciplines business owners.

The law even prevents anyone from serving on the board if immediate family members work for a restaurant that serves spirits.

Bar owners say they're not being given a voice. Board member Jeff Wright, the only drinker on the five-member panel, says an industry representative could provide valuable expertise.

But lawmakers say the board's makeup dates back to Prohibition's end and likely won't change.