Comments about ‘Public health and alcohol: Expert calls Utah 'envy of the nation'’

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Published: Monday, Jan. 27 2014 5:40 p.m. MST

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conservative scientist
Lindon, UT

What a blessing to have the lowest incidence of DUI and associated death in the nation. I'm grateful we don't have more stories like the very recent tragedy of the three year old killed by a drunk driver. Doing what we can to promote safety should trump concerns from the hospitality industry and others who think we are wierd.

Salt Lake City, UT

We are the "envy of the nation," and yet shortsighted people here want to loosen up the state's alcohol laws? Required reading for the Legislature: The LDS Church's statement on alcohol laws that was released last week, and the statements made by the dad of the 3-year-old child who was killed by the drunk driver in Taylorsville.

Sandy, UT

While it's great that Utah has such a low incidence of DUI, the article presents no evidence that Utah's byzantine liquor laws--rather than its large proportion of teetotaling Mormons--are responsible for the difference.

I'm reminded of the story of the man who claimed he was keeping himself safe against wild tigers by spreading a special powder around his home. When his neighbors pointed out that there weren't any wild tigers anywhere in America, he replied, "see how well it works?"

Perhaps, rather than basing our government policy on faith, we might look at how we can encourage responsible behavior, without forcing a lot of bizarre and senseless restrictions on those who choose to consume. Sounds like the conservative thing to do.

Buena Vista, VA

I don't necessarily agree with Red Corvette's abuse of power claim, but I do agree that it is not the Utah's laws that resulted in so little drunk driving or underage binge drinking, but rather that so many people choose to obey the Word of Wisdom.

Tooele, UT

Re: "Even if the laws were relaxed, the prohibition (and outcome) would not change."

We have your word on that?

Truth is, ANY tinkering with current law has the possibility of killing more innocent children. Current law hurts no one.

So why change?

The only possible answer is that the "hospitality" industry, along with its stooges in the legislature, cares more for its profits than for the lives of our children.

Far East USA, SC

As Red said.

Utah could probably drop every alcohol related law and still have a lower DUI incidence than most/all states.

The elephant in the room hides well.

South Jordan, UT

So, Red Corvette and Becky Lockhart want the laws to change. They have no data to support their position but that doesn't prevent them from having strong opinions. (Ironically, Lockhart's position is partly based on what she perceives as a lack of data supporting current legislation yet she provides no data of her own to counter it.)

I'm not sure where Red Corvette is coming from other than he obviously has something stuck in his craw about the LDS church. But Lockhart does reveal some of her thoughts.
- Having a little more business in Utah is worth risking a few lives.
- She thinks she hears the laughter of the world and is becoming ashamed (wasn't there a dream or vision about exactly that).

You know, I'm not even sure I want a business in Utah that holds alcohol in such high esteem. Maybe Lockhart should start her campaign by visiting with families who have recently lost loved ones due to alcohol related incidents. Then maybe she'll realize that the loss of even one more life is not worth a few shekels.

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

Red Corvette. You are actually trying to justify driving while drunk? Come on man, wise up! Incidentally, the LDS church or any other church can not force anyone not to drink alcohol so your ridiculous comment about the "abuse of power" is total nonsense!

Provo, UT

The law requires a Zion's curtain, so "innocent" people cannot see drinks being poured or mixed. But this article shows a picture of many shots being poured!

Oh, the horror! Some innocent readers will now lose all self control and binge!

Cottonwood Heights, UT

I love all the expert opinions of some readers. I'll trust a guy from Johns Hopkins who studies alcohol related deaths. For whatever reason, we look pretty good on DUI statistics. Why meddle with something that appears to be working? If it isn't broken, don't fix it.

Good job Utah!

@Red Corvette, what evidence do you have that loosening the laws wouldn't change the statistics? Wishful thinking?

Bountiful, UT

I think that Governor Huntsman did enough to "bring Utah into the 21st Century". We need lawmakers that will support our safer atmosphere and keep our restaurants from looking like bars as they do in other states. It is SO nice to walk into most restaurants in Utah to see a RESTAURANT and not a line up of liquor choices.

West Jordan, UT

I come from a family that has been ripped apart by the effects of alcohol. It kills me to see how people are hurt by alcohol and yet how they defend the right to have alcohol destroy their lives. When a person takes up drinking they never know how it will impact them. They may be a very light social drinker but one night decide to over consume and then have something tragic happen. Alcohol is not worth the negative impact it brings to so many!

Laws discouraging and restricting the use and abuse of alcohol should be as tight as we can possibly have them. Why do so many people defend the right to destroy lives?


If you don't want to be in a restaurant that serves alcohol, go to a liquor-free restaurant. You see, that is how the free market works. If there is a demand for an alcohol free restaurant, someone will open one and be succesful. Start voting with your wallet, and until you do, stop complaining and try to be an adult when going to Chili's.

As for Utah's low DUI instances/alcohol related deaths: Utah is low mostly in part due to the low number of citizens who don't consume adult beverages. When comparing the drunk driving deaths per gallon of alcohol consumed (per capita), Utah ranks 7th. In fact, states like Vermont, Rhode Island, Delaware, and even Wyoming consume almost twice as much alcohol per capita than Utah, yet have lower percent of their citizens who drink be involved in a drink driving death. Obviously, these states are doing something better than Utah...

You would think that if our legislator was so concerned with keeping people safe, they would regulate guns like they do alcohol. Guns, afterall, were responsible for 16X the deaths in Utah last year than alcohol...

Murray, UT

We're the envy of the nation when it comes to Alcohol control laws, how about we put those same efforts and energies into improving the regulations on pollution and improving the quality of our air shed?

Counter Intelligence
Salt Lake City, UT

Red Corvette
your bitterness does not help your cause
making liquor passé IS why Utah has low dui rates - that is a good thing


If you care about keeping your children safe, you should be much less concerned with alcohol, and turn your attention towards prescription drugs. 34 people in Utah died in 2012 due to alcohol/drunk driving.

Per the Utah Health Department, 23 people die a MONTH from prescription drugs. Utah has the 8th highest prescription overdose death rate in the country.

Allowing me to purchase my wine where I purchase my steak is not putting anyone at an imminent risk of death or injury.

truth in all its forms
henderson, NV

I teach the people correct principles and let them govern themselves. Utah's alcohol laws are archaic and its time they were brought into the 21st century.

Riverton, UT

I find your statements very interesting. "If you don't want to be in a restaurant that serves alcohol, go to a liquor-free restaurant." I would add a little something to that statement: If you don't like the laws in Utah (voted on by the majority of the people in Utah), go to another state that has the laws that you do like (and people who are more to your liking).

Just a thought...


You are right, going out to eat at a restaurant is exactly the same as moving your family from the state that your ancestors sacrificed to settle.

Try coming up with a better example. Just a thought...

West Jordan, UT

While Utah does have some "quirky" laws related to alcohol. I personally don't think the "Zion Curtain" is necessary, but I also don't think it adds that much of a burden on restaurant owners either. Most restaurants already mix drinks in a specific area, so how hard is it to add partition? But there are other states that have even stricter alcohol laws. There are places in the Midwest and other areas where you can't even buy alcohol on Sundays.

While I do believe that people's choice of lifestyle has more to do with Utah's alcohol-related death rate than some of our liquor laws, I think we need to do some solid research supporting/refuting them. So far, all I've heard is a lot of talking heads asserting their opinions either in favor of or against the current laws. So far, neither side has offered any solid data focused specifically on those aspects of the law currently in question.

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