City Prohibits Enforcement of Ban on Sunday Beer Sales

City Prohibits Enforcement of Ban on Sunday Beer Sales

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SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah (AP) -- The City Council has put a six-month moratorium on enforcement of a Sunday beer sale ban they did not know they had enacted.

The ban was in an alcohol ordinance the council approved in August and had been in effect since Aug. 24.

Taverns and clubs did not about it until they got a letter this month reminding them that alcohol cannot be sold on election days until after the polls close and also mentioning the Sunday beer ban.

More than 30 people representing drinking establishments showed up at Wednesday's council meeting to protest the ban.

The City Council held an emergency meeting Thursday and voted unanimously to impose the moratorium on enforcement of the ban.

"I think what happened was a lot of miscommunication," said Councilman Boyd Marshall regarding the council's action in August. "I, for one, didn't know that was what I was voting for that night."

Mayor Wes Losser said the provision simply "got by" his office and the council without being noticed. The council will take a closer look at the Sunday ban in two weeks when council members decide whether to repeal the law.

City Attorney Dave Carlson put the Sunday beer ban in the alcohol ordinance that went before the council in August.

He said he thought the city's previous alcohol ordinance had ineffectively tried to limit beer sales. He said the previous ordinance was hard to understand and limited beer sales during certain hours on Sunday.

"I guess there was just some confusion on our part. I interpreted them (previous ordinances) as an attempt to restrict sales of alcohol on Sunday," Carlson said. "I had made that more explicit because I felt like that was the original intent of the ordinance."

Carlson said he was wrong in that interpretation and expects the council to either strike the Sunday ban or reach a compromise with certain hours in which bars can't sell beer on Sunday.

He said the August ordinance had not been strictly enforced.

"We haven't sent police around to the bars to see if they're serving beer on Sundays," he said.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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