SPOTLIGHT: Idaho State Police Settle Lawsuit, Will Stop Enforcing Liquor Law Tied To 'Indecency'

Sep 28, 2016

The Visual Arts Collective sued Idaho State Police after receiving a $8,000 fine for a performance that violated a state liquor law regulating live performances. Under a settlement agreement Wednesday, the fine will be reversed and the police agency will immediately stop enforcing the law.
Credit Visual Arts Collective / Facebook

Idaho State Police will no longer enforce a liquor law that regulates live performances in venues that serve alcohol.

That’s according to the ACLU of Idaho, after it sued the state agency this month on behalf of a group of artists and a Treasure Valley venue owner. The law focuses on performances of a sexual nature, but plaintiffs argued it amounts to censorship and is unconstitutional.

Sam Stimpert was one of the plaintiffs in the suit. He owns the Visual Arts Collective in Garden City, and was fined $8,000 after police said a performer on his stage broke the law.

“It’s great because it changes it for everybody doing art in Idaho, not just us.”

Stimpert says ISP's Wednesday decision is a step forward for artists, and is vindication.

“It just sends a clear message that our case was pretty much inarguable and the law as it was written was unconstitutional and they were not going to be able to fight it.”

Stimpert says ISP have agreed to reverse this year's fine. The police agency could not be reached for comment.

Find Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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