Comments about ‘Leaders debate reality, perception of Utah liquor laws’

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Published: Saturday, Aug. 3 2013 11:35 p.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

Can we not increase DUI's and still eliminate all but 10 pages of the 280 pages of liquor laws in Utah? That doesn't include all the rules DABC puts out. I don't want to add DUI's but we don't need to be in the business of retailing alcohol.

South Jordan, UT

Making alcohol more available just puts more money in the pockets of a few liquor operatives and more people in hospitals, jails, and the morgue.

The misery to family, friends, and loved ones, and the cost to the rest of us is far beyond the "justifications" of selling it.

Park City, Ut

The free market should decide the bulk of these issues. The fact is No one is going to a restaurant to get drunk. Restaurants tend to charge premium prices for adults beverages, your average social drinker is likely to only have one or two drinks with dinner. Food absorbs alcohol. Allowing restaurants to serve alcohol isn't a public safety issue. If the restaurant has a bar, sure have the patrons order food at least after the firs drink is served. The Zion curtain is a joke. Not even average Utah citizens were asking for it. It was a simple punitive give/get measure that really meant nothing except to punish those restaurants who wish to serve drinks. if you don't want you kids to see a server mixing an adult beverage out in public, take them to Chuckle Cheeses (btw, in most over states, CC serves beer).

Mainly Me
Werribee, 00

Leave the laws as is. Don't fix something that ain't broke.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Alcohol shouldn't drive new business at the expense of public health, Bird said." But alcohol in any form - beer, wine, or hard liquor is good for you if used in moderation. Now if we are worried about public health we should concentrate on tap water which is loaded with lots of bad stuff.

Tucson, AZ

All of the reasons given to relax the laws sound like rationalizing to me.

Washington, UT

Utah has it right. Don't change the liquor laws. Alcohol is the number one bad drug in this country...and we should "normalize" the Utah liquor laws? "Be like other states?" No way, if anything toughen the liquor laws. If people want to drink and be stupid, let them go to California.

Salt Lake City, UT

Utah received it's "strict" liquor control laws as a result of then LDS Church President Heber J Grant's displeasure of Utah being the state that ended prohibition in the United States. This mandated that government control wholesale and retail distribution of distilled spirits. I think it's time the other shoe dropped and the state ends even all retail sales of 3.2% beer in any grocery or convenience stores, and let's throw all tobacco products under the exclusive DABC umbrella as well. We need to eliminate all juvenile exposure to these products of sin and rebellion. Go north of the border into Canada and this is the rule as well. It isn't just an LDS vs. a non LDS philosophy, it's social responsibility.

Eden, UT

Utah's historic laws on the sale of alcoholic beverages is grounded in the antiquated recommendations found in the "Word of Wisdom." The Utah legislature, filled with LDS members, acts like they are an army fighting against sin. In reality, the army of secular research is winning. For example, coffee is better for you than Mountain Due, and Red Wine is better for you than Hot Chocolate. Utah's Liquor laws make Utah appear like a church controlled state and do little if anything to stop drunk drivers, domestic violence, or other alcohol created problems. Remember, "Stronger than an army is an idea whose time has come."

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

There is not the tiniest bit of evidence that the "Zion Curtain" reduces alcohol consumption. I'm not looking for a vast liberalization of our alcohol laws. It just seems to me that laws like the zion curtain exist only to show drinkers that we don't like them.

Carson City, NV

This is one compromise that doesn't have to be made. The bar and brewery owners knew the laws when they opened in Utah. If they can't operate under those rules, they can go to a different state.

If you do this the church will lose more members to alcoholism. That's my prediction.

Kaysville, UT

The state government's role is to protect the people of Utah. Providing alcoholic entertainment for tourists is farther down the list. We need to ask what the positive benefits of more access to alcohol for society are: does more alcohol or greater access benefit the people of Utah? Will it increase the safety and well-being of society? Perhaps we should look at the increased cost of law enforcement, especially the issue of drunk driving; ask the highway patrol, and police their opinions. Would more alcohol benefit the children of Utah? Is there a higher risk of addiction and neglect? It seems to me like a small vocal minority is putting the majority at risk. We need to weigh the benefits and detriments. People will always come here to ski and get an adrenaline high - do they need a chemical high as well? With all of the problems in the state, would having more free-flowing alcohol help? Why drink? Let's look at finding ways to solve problems not just drinking to forget.

Harwich, MA

Normalize. It's time to legalize adulthood in Utah. I came to Massachusetts 12 years ago on a 3 week business trip. When I realized they had legalized adulthood I was mesmerized by the feeling be being an adult (49 years old) and not having to look over my shoulder just to have a beer. I looked around the third week I was here and said to myself, I'm never going home. And I didn't.

Salt Lake, UT

I do not drink, however, I think Utah needs to close its state liquors stores and let it go privately like other states. Utah's current laws cause anger and resentment toward not only the State but also the LDS church.People forget history, before the prohibition act Utah was home to many distilleries many made Danish beer and yes even church members drank it. The word of wisdom was treated more like an advisory back then. The State should not be running a retail business of any king. I support the rights of other to drink if they want without having to buy it from their government. Stores sell, tobacco and beer. Why not liquor?

Cedar City, UT

What has happened in Salt Lake City, and the rest of Utah, is a microcosm of what is happening in America, as a whole. People come here to escape the horrible life style, in their home Country, City or State, and immediately start trying to change their new home, unto the same life style they escaped from. If Salt Lake City and America did not resist, these people could have stayed home.

Red Smith
American Fork, UT

People come to Utah because it is different and not "normal," normalizing liquor laws may decrease tourism.

If we normalize our liquor laws, we should normalize DUI from 0.08 to 0.05 and increase fines and mandatory jail for first offenders. Very strict laws for drunk driving and loose liquor laws are the norm.

If we are going to go the way of the world, then let's go the whole way and have the same DUI laws as Canada if we are going to match Canadian "normal" liquor laws to make more money. Money should not be the justification to loosen liquor laws.

Kearns, UT

Could the fact that we have the lowest underage drinking percentages be because people choose not to drink? Perhaps it's the religious influence in this state, and not the ridiculous laws that we have that "take over the role of parents" in preventing their kids from drinking.

I find it so ironic that in a state that claims so much to value the right of others to choose, they make these laws that prevent people from doing that. Let's allow adults to be adults. Let's realize that just because I see somebody at the next table enjoying a mixed drink or wine with their meal, it doesn't mean that I will suddenly lose control and have to have one as well. Just because I can see the bar in a restaurant doesn't mean that I will suddenly be compelled to drink. It doesn't work when I see the desserts displayed, why would it for alcohol?

Hucahuca City, AZ

Are people really suffering because they can't have an alcoholic beverage at a restaurant? If it's about the alcohol, simply go to a bar and grill establishment.

What is "normal" when it comes to regulation of alcohol? Each state and even municipalities has its own laws and ordinances regarding the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is the most abuse drug in the world. Tens of thousands of people are killed each year in the USA due to alcohol related incidents, and many more are maimed and injured. States that have more strict alcohol laws should not rationalize and loosen their laws just because other states have less strict laws. People will still get their alcohol in Utah without less strict laws as they have until now.

Meridian, ID

Utah has has been rated in all ten of the tests of entrepreneurial friendliness and encouragement. The only state to rate in the top ten. Utah is one of the few states without debt. Why? Might it be because of limitation of drinking and, perhaps added to that, gambling is not legalized through a lottery or other types of gambling. State sponsored gambling is a failed policy. Think about it. In areas where gambling is pondered and are permitted by law, the related costs such as addiction treatment, increased crime, family break-up and business losses provoked by employees stealing from their employers to feed a gambling addiction costs between $3 and $6 for every dollar raised by the state via gambling revenue. It may that one addiction feeds the other addiction! Think about it and enjoy your freedom.

A Scientist
Provo, UT

I have to agree with the analysis and position of Mr. Schubach.

And I have to wonder where all the "conservative" LDS people toss their "keep government out of regulating our lives" when it comes to alcohol? How can you maintain such inconsistent positions and still have any sense of integrity?

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