Big Brother in Big Love Country – Bar attendence database in Utah

This story is a little scary. Utah is proposing a law that will require patrons to have their ID entered into a database when they purchase alcohol at a restaurant or bar.

from ABC –

The governor of Utah has two problems with a State Senate proposal to scan the IDs of everyone who visits a bar in the state and make that database available to law enforcement officials.

For starters, it is an “Orwellian” breach of privacy, he said. And second, it makes his state look kooky.

“I think that would enhance the oddness of our laws,” Gov. Jon Huntsman told The Associated Press. “I think that for most people that is a rather frightening, almost Orwellian, proposition.”

Orwellian indeed. The reasoning behind the monitoring turns the proposal from a nightmare to an absurdity. The impetus behind this Big Brother bid? Tourism.

In an effort to boost the state’s $6 billion a year tourism industry, Huntsman, a Republican, at the behest of bar and restaurant owners, asked the state legislature to review the club law and consider replacing it with electronic scanners that could determine if a patron was under the legal drinking age of 21 years.

In doing so, some lawmakers from his own party realized that the information obtained by those scanners could be used by the police to investigate drunken driving incidents and proposed creating a database to store that information.

Yeah that might make you look a little kooky. If there is anything that would make people avoid Utah like it was a plague zone it would be this database. I’m sure Reason will be on this soon. I can’t wait to see what they have to say.


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