LDS Church says Utah alcohol laws benefit all residents


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  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 27, 2014 7:02 p.m.

    The partition hiding the preparing of alcoholic drinks is a reasonable measure against the proliferation of alcohol in society. It is clear that such a measure works to reduce the amount of drinking in some way, and there has never been any reasonable argument against it.

    There is no good reason to want to be like states that have 3 times or more the rate of deaths from drunk driving.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 27, 2014 6:29 p.m.

    Many of the poor are such because people waste their resources on alcohol.

    The attitude "church leaders should focus on feeding the poor" would have lead to Martin Luther King not working for reforms of unjust laws, because where you sit on the bus has no affect on whether you have food on the table.

    Laws that lead to fewer deaths from drunk driving are good laws.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 27, 2014 4:42 p.m.

    Multiple factors create any situation. However the view that changing the laws to be like places with much higher rates of drunk driving will not give us more drunk driving goes against all logical reason.

    We need to stop seeking to have a king like all other people, and start being willing to stand up for what we know is a better way. A better way is reasonable restrictions on alcohol.

    People also have to bear in mind that "more tourism" has a negative social impact. Are we really willing to create a situation where we will be expected to provide the types of jobs "more tourism" will demand?

    Money is not everything, and the quality of life in working jobs related to tourism is not generally good.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 5:25 a.m.

    Just more of the LDS Church poking its nose where it doesn't belong.

    Church leaders should be focusing on feeding the hungry, ministering to the poor and widows, and perhaps orchestrating petitioning god to relieve the droughts, rather than trying to repeatedly control the behavior of non-members through force of civil law.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Jan. 23, 2014 3:30 p.m.

    As a visitor to Utah, I've watched these laws unfold over the years. It appears to me that they are only giving the appearance of controlling the consumption of alcohol. The current laws are simply ineffectual and often painfully ludicrous.

  • Sundriver West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 7:04 p.m.

    Good questions being raised and I am curious, just what percentage of all liquor consumption is due to LDS church members and or other religious organizations in Utah and the rest of the country. Quite low, I'd guess, but certainly not zero.

    Whether the 'Zion's curtain by itself isa viable law in reducing alcohol consumption, I'm not sure. Yet I would not enjoy an 'in-your-face' alcohol consumption when dining out. That said, I appreciate the general diligence the legislature has, so far, demonstrated in an attempt to reign in the many social ills and killing of the innocent (DUI) due to recreational alcohol consumption.

    What laws are employed to that end, hopefully will result someday in further reducing the scourge of driving under the influence, and the terrible suffering caused by this social disaster.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Jan. 22, 2014 4:53 p.m.

    The state needs to allow grocery stores to carry liquor - it can even be in a separate section with its own walls to prevent shoplifting. If somebody is going to drink and drive they are still going to do so whether they buy the product at a grocery store or at a state owned liquor store. Most people are responsible though so I don't think the numbers will change if they were to put liquor in grocery stores.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 3:49 p.m.

    I'm active LDS.
    I do not drink, so Utah's liquor laws of .035%, open container this, mized drinks behind the curtain that -- are completely and utterly useless.

    The fact that most Utahans are like me is why the State DUI numbers are low,
    NOT because of these stupid loopity-loop -- i before e, except after c -- liquor laws do.

    It's like crediting Utah's low lung cancer rates for making stupid laws about smoke shops being at least 200 feet from schools, how big their signs can be, and what days and hours they are allowed to be open.

  • Sean70 Arlington, VA
    Jan. 22, 2014 1:20 p.m.

    Strange is the argument that alcohol laws shouldn't be tinkered with because they are working, as evidenced by having the lowest prevalence of alcohol-related incidents. However, the article then notes Utah' isn't really "wierd," as evidenced by the 9 other states have more stringent alcohol laws than Utah's. If Utah's strict laws were responsible for having the lowest DUI rates, then why don't those 9 states have lower rate's than Utah's? Isn't a bigger factor that such a large percentage of Utah's population has decided never to drink alcohol, and that relaxing the laws will have zero effect on their decision?

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 1:13 p.m.

    Don't credit laws with lower consumption, but the high percentage of the population being teetotalers. It could actually be argued that the laws make us less safe. They discourage people from responsible drinking in public establishments, where it is monitored and regulated (they can be sued if they allow a patron to drink too much) and public transportation is available. Many Utahns opt instead for private parties in residential areas where drinking is excessive and guests drive home drunk.

  • brotherJonathan SLC, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 12:27 p.m.

    You may not want to hear this. What a citizen wishes to put in his/her own body is a personal choice, like having surgery or not. The only legal choice right now is alcohol for a drug for personal use. For many adults, with addictive type personalities, a much better choice would be Pot, cannabis, marijuana: although any mind altering drug can cause social problems, cannabis is safer to use and causes less destructive behaviors than the rest of them. Laziness and other side effects are real but are far less destructive than any other drug of choice that I know of. If a citizen chooses to be fully intoxicated and drive a powered vehicle, this is a crime and should be enforced, with fairness and level of intoxication. Many people slightly intoxicated do not present a clear risk to the public good. Example: one beer or glass of wine, one Vicodin when suffering pain, one or two puffs of pot for pleasure or to treat pain, anxiety or other medical uses. The individual's behavior is part of the formula for fair and just treatment of citizens being arrested for intoxication or other behavior type offences of law.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 12:26 p.m.

    @Utes Fan
    "When Big Macs, bacon, and large amounts of soda kill others in accidents and cause violence"

    I dunno, someone could go on a Big Mac attack.

    "because regarding alcohol abuse, Utah is the safest state in the country."

    Half the state believes it to be a serious sin to drink. I'd be shocked if Utah weren't #1 in the nation.

  • HeresAThought Queen Creek, AZ
    Jan. 22, 2014 12:09 p.m.

    As a member, these laws do not have a negative impact on me. It would seem to me that if one wishes to change these laws, one would work to elect a politician to state government that favored your viewpoints on alcohol consumption. I was a smoker for 12 years, but since I have been smoke free since 2011, any tax hikes to cigarettes in an attempt to dissuade smoking do not have any impact on my life. I would suppose that any one person, member or not, who vehemently disagrees with Utah's alcohol consumption policies does have the freedom to move to a more relaxed state. As for us here in AZ, we have Sheriff Joe, who is infamous for harsh DUI punishments. Seems to be a good deterrent here...

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 11:45 a.m.

    Utes Fan
    "When Big Macs, bacon, and large amounts of soda kill others in accidents and cause violence in domestic disputes then perhaps laws will be passed for those things too."

    Big Macs, bacon and large amounts of soda may not kill others in accidents and cause violence, but they do just as much harm with diabetes, high cholesterol, heart problems, and the such. They are just as bad for society as alcohol, they simply take longer to manifest their problems.

    Jan. 22, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    Sorry Im not buying it - This is a religious issue for the church. No question that the church has the right to voice its opinion. Lets just call it what it is. If it/they truly cared about the "1 more life", there would be a video about the dangers of texting while driving, which has been shown to be just as dangerous as drinking and driving.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Jan. 22, 2014 11:07 a.m.

    @ King's court: "the current state of the law is a mish-mash of illogical nonsense." I don't disagree but it seems to work because regarding alcohol abuse, Utah is the safest state in the country. If fewer children have access to alcohol, then that is a step in the right direction. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    Jan. 22, 2014 10:41 a.m.

    In a democracy you can wake up and actually drink the coffee, as opposed to a Utah theocracy where only smelling java is allowed, if you value your eternal exaltation,

    And that's fine with civil liberarians, but not with Biblical Christians on the theological issue.

    Congratulations to LDS Church leaders for taking a public moral stand on what should be a No-brainer common sense issue. I happily left the Church many years ago for theological reasons, but I continue to treasure my moral heritage and ethics from the Church's wisdom and practices.

    Just driving back home into my tolerant liberal state from Utah/Idaho makes me cringe to the reality of our abysmal DUI-death stats. There is a price to pay in a "democracy" in paradise...

  • MoreMan San Diego, CA
    Jan. 22, 2014 9:39 a.m.

    Theocracy is nothing like Democracy. Wake up and smell the coffee.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 22, 2014 9:12 a.m.

    I wish the LDS Church would make as strong a stance about extremely powerful mind altering psychotropic medications as it does about non-medicating tobacco and beverages.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    For most people, what is the purpose of drinking alcohol? The argument that is used, is that people can't have a nice cold beer with their lunch or dinner, or a glass of wine etc. The law does allow people to have those drinks with their meals. People can purchase alcohol and consume it in their home.

    For being such a dry state, we still have people that manage to get drunk, beat their spouse while intoxicated, have babies that are affected by alcohol.

    Yes, people like to drink. But, should everyone be forced to pay for their bad/poor decisions that got them to that point?

    Can anyone explain how that is fair?

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 8:53 a.m.


    "Large amounts of soda is also really bad for you, as are Big Macs and too much bacon. When are they gonna start passing laws for these things too?"

    When Big Macs, bacon, and large amounts of soda kill others in accidents and cause violence in domestic disputes then perhaps laws will be passed for those things too.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Jan. 22, 2014 8:50 a.m.


    Apparantly you don't drink wine do you. Furthermore, why could somebody open a bottle they bought at a grocery store and drink it while driving, but not do the same thing when buying it at the liquor store? That makes no sense.

    They sell beer at grocery stores, and they are easier to open and drink then a bottle of wine. The odds of somebody doing that with beer is much higher then with wine. I don't think many people do that anyways.

  • donn layton, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 8:23 a.m.

    unfortunately people don't take Paul’s advice of Moderation:

    1 Timothy 3:8 In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain.

    1 Timothy 5:23 Stop drinking just water, but use a ‘little wine’ for your digestion and your frequent illnesses

    Wine(oinos) was used by. Melchizedek, Gen 14:18. And Jesus 2:1-11, He turns water into wine not wine into water. Mogen David is popular for the Jewish Passover in modern times.

    MT 9:17, Mark 2:22 implies fermentation.

    Wine (gleukos)denotes “sweet” new wine. Acts 2:13 where the accusation shows that it was intoxicant and must have been undergoing fermentation.

    Not that which goes into the mouth defiles a man; but that which comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.(Mt 15:11).

  • KJB Arco, ID
    Jan. 22, 2014 7:37 a.m.

    Tennessee and Kentucky still do have dry counties. In late 2011, voters in Hardin County, Kentucky, approved a change in their laws to allow alcohol sales. There was a substantial spike in DUI arrests the first week. Since there hasn't been any real public outcry, I suspect things have settled and the sober drivers are just dealing with it by this point.

    If anyone were to ask me my biggest concern about a person buying a bottle of wine from the store on a Sunday, it is that the person might drink it up before they get home. Shouldn't most imbibers be winding down their weekend drinking by this point?

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 6:30 a.m.

    Government control by nanny state. Where is private enterprise?

  • Johnny Moser Thayne, WY
    Jan. 22, 2014 6:22 a.m.

    Lived in Utah for many years and then moved to Arkansas. The people complaining about the liquor laws in Utah have never lived in the south and had to deal with blue laws, dry counties, or dry cities. Mormons had nothing to do with those laws.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Jan. 22, 2014 6:00 a.m.

    This is one restriction after another one.Complicated involvement for more government.
    However I like to understand why the church is taking side on issues such as this ?
    If the Lord is at the head of this church, then we should find some teachings behind all of it.

    I look at it this way, someday Mormons expect a land of peace and children being raised without sin.

    If the church had full influence on our daily life in public streets,
    I can think of having tough traffic regulations,tough substance regulations to keep children out of harms way etc.

    The meaning of gospel influence in legal matters is not as much for adults as for providing secure soils to raise kids.

    Nephi 30 : (And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’s den.

    They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.)

    After Baptism we were in need of milk before we could chew on meat, so children are vulnerable.

  • lindaj72 salt lake city, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 4:44 a.m.

    I grew up in northeast Tennessee. I don't know what the laws are there now on alcohol, but back then we had dry and wet counties. My county of Sullivan was a dry county and every Friday night people were headed to Washington County for their "goodies." Also, the county where Jack Daniels is made is a dry county. They can make it there but they can't drink it. Perspective. Utah is not unique. I was married to a raging alcohol who ended up killing himself. I for one applaud the Church's stance, and the State of Utah's efforts to balance allowance and control in order to have a safer society.

  • niners SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 4:25 a.m.

    While I do not agree with religion ever being envolved in politics, creating/changing laws etc. I have to say, if Utah's alcohol laws prevent even one death per year, the alcohol laws are worth keeping.

  • Larry Chandler CEDAR CITY, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 12:53 a.m.

    Certain laws do promote temperance, but not all. The "Zion Curtain" where people can't see a drink being prepared does not promote temperance. People who might be influenced by the appearance of a mixed drink can still see it once it's poured and can still hear people talk about enjoying it.

    People who are told they cannot buy a particular brand out of state not sold in Utah don't drink water or lemonade instead. They will simply chose another brand. And most people who insist on a particular brand, still buy it out of state. All this particular law does is inconvenience people, but does not reduce alcohol abuse.

    Not allowing cold drinks to be sold in state stores (on the grounds a cold beer will be consumed immediately) does not prevent those so inclined from buying and immediately consuming a warmer beverage and does not prevent those from buying a cold beer with slightly less alcohol at Wal-Mart, and immediately drinking more than one.

    The only reasons these laws exist is to remind people that the state is in control. Nanny state indeed.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 12:16 a.m.

    Thank goodness I have our state government to tell me what's good for me. Without them I would have no idea what to drink or who I should marry. Can't wait to see what other "thoughtcrimes" the legislation goes after this time around.

  • road2provo Davis, CA
    Jan. 21, 2014 11:03 p.m.

    California, has a very strong drinking culture. I live in a college town surrounded by arguably the nation's best wine country. The last jury duty selection process for an alleged DUI made me witness to an alarming number of potential jurors that had a family member or friend involved in a DUI. I tell you, it was down right scary and changed the way I perceive driving among my fellow Californians. In the jury deliberation, there were even those that were very sympathetic to the defendant in part because of their alcoholic relationship behind the wheel. This is gravely symptomatic of the alcoholic culture LDS leaders are describing.

    The numbers don't lie and Utah's laws produces the best results amidts a diversity of laws across the country . Any suggesting improvements or modifications to the law should argue their point based on successfully improving public/family safety. Its just hard to find a better reference point of outside regulation on successfully detering negative alcoholic outcomes when there is none better.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 10:27 p.m.

    They benefit this resident big time. In cash, for out of state deliveries.

  • kfbob SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 9:19 p.m.


    I think that the State gov't should regulate all poisonous substances like cigarattes, alcohol and harmful chemicals. I don't think that healthcare is something that requires the state to intevene and control.

  • Cougar in Texas Houston, TX
    Jan. 21, 2014 8:47 p.m.

    As the ad explains, other states have liquor laws that are much more restrictive than what you have in Utah. The city where I now live has just approved liquor sales for the first time ever.

    As for those who claim that it is not the law, but the predominance of non-drinking Mormons that results in Utah's low rate of alcohol-related deaths, one glance at the by-state listings of alcohol-related deaths should support this, but it does not. Idaho and Wyoming have the next highest concentration of LDS membership, but they are not next lowest in alcohol-related deaths after Utah. (NHTSA, 2012 data).

    Certainly there are other factors; however, I congratulate Utah for being by far the safest place to drive without fear of being hit by a drunk driver, and the good news is that traffic-related deaths are decreasing overall across the US.

  • southmtnman Provo, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 8:45 p.m.

    I'm still trying to figure out what is "socially beneficial" about restricting the sale of beer in supermarkets on Sundays?

    Sundays are special why? Do too many young LDS boys try to sneak out of priesthood and go grab a quick brewsky? So LDS Church leaders use the force of law to enlist the supermarket employees to police those rambunctious boys?

    What is that all about?

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 7:59 p.m.

    I don't mind having sensible alcohol laws, but the current state of the law is a mish-mash of illogical nonsense. To make matters worse, it is a completely socialist system. The private sector could do a better job of managing alcohol in Utah. Right Republicans?

  • bshelt SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 7:36 p.m.

    It's all about control. We as LDS members are so outraged at the prospect of the government having control over any part of our lives, healthcare, taxes, freedom, regulation, guns, school choice, on and on and on. Why are we not outraged at the social control of a legal substance. We treat people who drink like children that cannot make a good decision so the state and the church will make it for them. Remember how we detest the notion that the "government"knows whats best for us. We subsidize our children's education with the funds that are collected from this ill-gotten substance. We as conservative, independent, freedom loving people should practice what we supposedly preach.

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    Jan. 21, 2014 7:32 p.m.


    Interestingly, New Hampshire also has state liquor stores. Though more of a purple state now, NH was historically quite conservative Republican.


    I think we regulate amphetamines.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 7:31 p.m.

    @ the truth, that's a false argument. My time on the East coast gives me the right to say it doesn't matter as much as you think it does. But it also makes life harder for people who do enjoy alcohol and consume it responsibly. Don't try to make LDS doctrine the standard for other people who see things differently, and that is really what this is about.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 7:30 p.m.

    Great video!

    The illustration balances social benefits with feelings of both LDS members and everyone (whether you drink or not). Very well said.


  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 6:52 p.m.


    Having good laws concerning alcohol do help make Utah's society better and safer, Mormon population or no.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 6:22 p.m.

    While I'm LDS and I do not drink, my view is that Utah's liquor laws are ludicrous. They are based on the long-standing policy influence of the Church. The biggest reason why Utah has a lower incidence of alcohol problems is not because of the laws, as those who want alcohol can and do obtain it. It is because Utah Mormons are largely non-consumers of alcohol. The results are based on religion, not due to the liquor laws. While I respect any church's right to speak out on moral issues, let's be honest that this is meant to dictate public policy.

  • slcman SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 6:13 p.m.

    What would be the negative consequence of allowing me to buy a bottle of wine in a grocery store?

  • BCA Murrieta, CA
    Jan. 21, 2014 6:09 p.m.

    Also, we would all be safer if we just stayed inside our houses. I don't drink but treating adults like kids isn't a reasonable societal approach. The legislature in Utah only thinks it is because of religion. When the legislature is not a Mormon majority (if that day ever comes) the state statutes will normalized.

    People with guns are more likely to get killed by guns. Don't think Utahans will be limiting them any time soon. Unfortunately, stuff happens. BTW, I don't own a gun, either.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Jan. 21, 2014 5:49 p.m.

    Sometimes we forget that it takes time for each person in life to realize what bad habits and harmful substances can do. This time should be granted to learn and get a hold of yourself.

    What the government is doing here, is to protect those who have reached that point of wisdom.
    World wide there is a tendency to acknowledge the benefits of protecting its citizen from harmful substances. Comercial interest is holding back on it. It wants to keep fooling people.

    Remember? : (Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation)

    Now you can argue is this religious or health issue related?
    The whole idea of having hospitals in the first place came from religion.
    You want to get rid of hospitals because of that ?

    Jan. 21, 2014 5:17 p.m.

    Coffee is also dangerous to the body. Ingesting any type of amphetamine on a daily basis is terrible for your heart. Large amounts of soda is also really bad for you, as are Big Macs and too much bacon. When are they gonna start passing laws for these things too?

  • Andy Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 4:45 p.m.

    Effective argument, good ad. Well done.

  • Area 52 Tooele, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 4:44 p.m.


    So how exactly does the LDS church "imply the impotence of its own teachings and influence, and rely on civil force to regulate morality"?

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 4:30 p.m.

    Is there any finer example of pure socialism than the DABC? Certainly the control of alcohol consumption through the state liquor store system achieves the policy goals of controlling overconsumption, underage drinking, and DUIs, as stated in the article. But surely this state, with its many entrepreneurs, right wing think tanks (e.g. Sutherland), and conservative academics and politicians could come up with an alternative system that achieves the same ends through freedom-affirming, free market-based mechanisms. Utahns claim to chafe at the "government takeover of health insurance" of the Affordable Care Act, but they seem indifferent to the government takeover of alcohol retail locally. Why the double standard? And why are they bereft of alternative nonsocialist ideas? Where are the cries for liberty when it comes to alcohol policy?

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 4:28 p.m.

    I'm grateful I live in a state where fewer people drink and where drinkers have to go a little out of their way to drink. This means our state is safer for not having been killed by drunk drivers. Also fewer families struggle with alcohol abuse.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 4:25 p.m.

    While I believe that Latter-Day Saints need to always remember the statement: "the Church does not contest the fact that alcohol is socially acceptable in our society and should be available to those who want it."

    At the same time, before this turns into a "keep the Church out of our laws" discussion, please consider the following:

    According to the World Health Organization (Fact Sheet, February 2011):

    -The harmful use of alcohol results in 2.5 million deaths each year.

    -320 000 young people between the age of 15 and 29 die from alcohol-related causes, resulting in 9% of all deaths in that age group.

    -Alcohol is the world’s third largest risk factor for disease burden; it is the leading risk factor in the Western Pacific and the Americas and the second largest in Europe.

    -Alcohol is associated with many serious social and developmental issues, including violence, child neglect and abuse, and absenteeism in the workplace.

  • threedegreecougar Kaysville, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 4:15 p.m.

    So what the church is really saying is that it isn't its own doctrine, teachings and the 60-some percent of Utah's wholesome church membership that keeps down Utah alcohol related ills. It's government enforced regulation and laws. Interesting that it would imply the impotence of its own teachings and influence, and rely on civil force to regulate morality.