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Letter: Drinking stats likely a result of Utah's culture, not Utah laws

Published: Sunday, March 17 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

As a non-drinker, I have minimal knowledge of our state's complicated drinking laws. However, my belief is that our low alcohol use is almost entirely related to the high percentage of practicing LDS people in Utah who follow their church's health code proscribing using alcohol and other addictive substances.

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I object to the logic in the Deseret News editorial titled "Keep these barriers" (March 11). The writer correctly states that Utah has the lowest percentage of underage drinkers in the nation, as well as other statistics lauding the benefits of us being a teetotaling state. The piece then criticizes the state Legislature for choosing to "meddle with alcohol laws that have a proven track record of reducing underage drinking."

As a non-drinker, I have minimal knowledge of our state's complicated drinking laws. However, my belief is that our low alcohol use is almost entirely related to the high percentage of practicing LDS people in Utah who follow their church's health code proscribing using alcohol and other addictive substances. To assess the effect of our drinking laws, we need to compare a group of communities in Utah with those in a neighboring state, such as southern Idaho with a comparable active LDS population. I doubt there would be much difference.

I won't debate the methods used to market alcoholic beverages, but I suspect that mixing drinks in view of minor children is minimally effective while a child observing their parents consume alcohol has a significant influence.

E. J. Corry

Highland

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