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DABC to face questions over ‘Oktoberfest fiasco’

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Posted at 7:51 PM, Jun 13, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-13 21:52:29-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The head of Utah’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is slated to appear before a legislative committee, where one state lawmaker is threatening to grill him over policy changes at the liquor control agency.

The Administrative Rules Committee will meet Monday morning, where DABC Executive Director Salvador Petilos will appear to discuss what is termed “change in permit review practice.”

Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, wants to ask him about the policy changes that he claims have brought “hundreds of embarrassing headlines about Utah around the world.”

“The bad PR has hurt Utah’s economic development and tourism,” Dabakis said in an email Friday night to FOX 13. “The latest fiasco about no beer at Oktoberfest follows on the heels of the ridiculed ‘Intent to Dine’ requirement. These are not laws, they do not make us safer, they are just weird interpretations of rules made by DABC that make Utah look weird.”

FOX 13 reported last month that DABC had begun reviewing its rules, including single-event permits granted to festivals. The renewed scrutiny threatened to put Snowbird ski resort’s popular Oktoberfest celebration in jeopardy.

The DABC Commission voted 4-1 to grant Snowbird a single-event permit for its BrewFest. So far, Snowbird has yet to submit an application for a permit to serve beer at Oktoberfest.