25 January 2017

This is called a "Zion curtain"

These barriers, nicknamed Zion curtains... are a common sight in Utah’s alcohol-serving establishments. The walls, normally 7-feet 2-inches high and translucent, may be a source of confusion among out-of-state tourists. And though the shields deflect wayward and underage eyes from observing booze, evidence is scarce that the curtains in fact curb alcohol consumption...

In a 2014 video produced by the Church, it described the law requiring barriers as one of the Utah’s “crucial statutes,” which protects children from glamorizing booze and also keeps deaths from alcohol consumption low. (In 2012, the U.S. national average of deaths involving a drunk driver was 3.3 per 100,000 population. The rate for Utah was just 1.2, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System.) To those who would like to see the curtains torn down, the voiceover wondered: “How important is it to see your drink being made? Does it really matter as long as you get your order?”
More at the Washington Post.


  1. I guess the people making the ad didn't speak to anyone who has had date rape drugs put in their drinks.

  2. Yup. It's ridiculous. Children seeing adult drinking beer will traumatize them, donchaknow?
    So much done in Utah to assuage mormon sensitivities is... problematic. Large part of state budget comes from state liquor stores, but they pay those employees badly. Easier to get mini-bottles and whole bottles of strong liquor that leads to drunk driving, discouraging bars that could better moderate drunkenness. Young people still drink to insensibility, since they have no cultural context for moderate alcohol consumption.

    Still, not as bad as dry counties in south and midwest, I suppose. We tried the 18th Amendment. Just led to mobs and violence, although it did break the saloon and free lunches.

  3. I dont understand what the walls prevent. patrons get their beverages and consume them outside the barriers. this is where the effects of alcohol can be observed. perhaps the establishments should have translucent windows to the outdoors, or no windows at all. the dispensing of beer from a tap (essentially the same as drawing a soda from a dispenser ) or opening a bottle are pretty darned prosaic. what is the point?

  4. Question: Do they all have that fake (I'm assuming) blood dripping down?

  5. This is like one of those amazing civic compromises, like the brown paper bag around a liquor bottle, as explained by Major Colvin on the Wire. Look it up.
    Like many compromises it really doesn't make sense when looked at from either perspective, instead it's a practical way out for a very real conflict of interests.


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