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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evansrichdm
west jordan , UT

If people in this state want a drink they can get one, so the right to drink is not being taken aways, but the rest of us do not need to see, smell or deal with you getting drunk and nor should we fear you getting behind a wheel.
On personal note I had a good number of friend who did not drink be killed by drunk drives. One friend was on a bike on a Sunday afternoon and was ran over by a drunk driver. I have also seen a good number of Soldiers I have served die more from drunk driving then combat. Any laws that protect the rest of us not drinking and those that do drink is a good law.

iplaydat
South Jordan, UT

So the same people that credit LDS members in Utah that don't drink for the low DUI statistics turn around and then denigrate and blame those same beliefs for the alcohol restriction laws! So which is it? You can't have it both ways!

jfarish
St. George, UT

So, if having a wall separating the alcohol preparation area from the restaurant is not a big deal to take down, then it isn't a big deal to leave up, either. Stop playing victim and be grateful for the fact that you can drink the alcohol that you want, and be grateful that Utah has among the lowest underage drinking numbers in the country. Also, don't play the "we need to attract more businesses" card, either. Some of the biggest corporations on earth are building branches, or even corporate headquarters, here in Utah. The current liquor laws didn't stop them from taking advantage of our business friendly laws and available, educated and motivated work force. Give it a rest, already, and focus on those things that actually might make a difference in the state.

WRK
Riverton, UT

@TheRealU

Ahh, yes. And when I had ancestors that sacrificed to settle a state so they could have religious freedoms, free from the dogma of an nation that wanted to "exterminate" them. And so they have enacted laws to keep their children safe, and people from other states come in and change those laws…

Yes, I see my example as fitting perfectly. If you do not, then the fault is not mine…

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

All things in moderation, You don't have to get drunk when you drink (see 95% of drinkers.)

Plenty of hazards on the road that are equal to drunk driving but because the LDS church has no commandments about texting we wont change those laws?

The zion curtain is the equivalent of putting your hand over your ears and going nah nah nah, it's a dumb law that has NO data or stats to back it up, just Bishop Valentines pipe dream.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

Isn't it interesting that the State of Utah, supposedly imbued with Conservative values, has chosen to ignore the doctrine of limited government and has imposed itself upon the private sector in the case of alcohol more than even the most liberal states.

. . . And it works.

That goes to show that Progressivism can and does work.

Who knew that Utah is a state dominated, in at least this one instance, by Progressive Politics?

TheRealU
HERRIMAN, UT

@WRK
Unfortunately, you still aren't making much sense, but let me try to comprehend: your ancestors (and mine) settled this state, and faced persecution along the way. Long story short, because of this I cannot buy wine where I buy my steak. Am I close?

Let me ask you this: how does purchasing wine at the grocery store make kids less safe? Do you really believe that a child seeing a wine bottle in the grocery store (or a cocktail being mixed at a restaurant) is dangerous? If you and your family do not consume alcohol, that is fine. Wouldn't seeing a wine bottle at the grocery store allow you the perfect opportunity to discuss with your children why your family feels that alcohol is not something to consume?

Hiding something behind a wall, or pretending something does not exist is not the answer. While Utah has low rates of teen drinking, those that do drink tend to binge drink at a much higher than other teens nationwide. This is the result of our state's current laws and alcohol culture.

forddoc
Clearfield, UT

This article is far from accurate. How does the state of Utah go from 50th in the nation for having the worst record in alcohol related deaths to 1st? (2007) The simple answer is, a reporter wants to make the state look good, for the new Legislature session. And, the church has weighed in saying "separate alcohol preparation areas are part of an effective system for protecting against underage drinking, overconsumption and driving under the influence of alcohol". What happened to separation between church and state? The church should stick to what it knows and stay out of the law business. The so called ZION Curtain laws are rediculous and serve zero purpose.
I completely agree with House Speaker Becky Lockhart, a Provo Republican who calls the barrier "weird." She said it's "one little thing" the state could change to make Utah more attractive to new businesses. Come on Utah, bring the state into the 21st century, legalize gambling (There's the money to offset any tax increases) and fix the rediculous drinking laws.

nonceleb
Salt Lake City, UT

As has been pointed out multiple times in previous comments, it is Utah's culture and dominant religion, not our convoluted laws, which are responsible for lower consumption. There has been no study or even logical reasoning proving that something like the "Zion Curtain," where drinks are mixed in a back room out of the view of patrons, has anything to do with keeping alcohol from minors, and reducing imbibing and drunk driving.

TLFinSLC
Salt Lake City, UT

I have been a drinker an I have no issues at all with Utah's alcohol laws. If I want to drink I am able to and the statistics prove that the state must be doing something right in protecting the public from the negative aspects of alcohol consumption.

Sasha Pachev
Provo, UT

I think our liquor laws should be changed, but in the other direction. Alcohol should be driven further away from public place. If we allow the sale of alcohol at all it should be only to those who have an impeccable record of not having caused any problems relating to its use. E.g. domestic violence under the influence should forever disqualify the perpetrator from purchasing or consuming alcohol in our state. We need to stop being ashamed of our beliefs and values and stand up for them firmly. Then others will respect us. If we believe what we believe kind of, and not with all of our hearts, and are not willing to sacrifice for our beliefs, then we only deserve having outsiders make fun of our inconsistency and lack of true principles.

From Ted's Head
Orem, UT

Perhaps someone could point me to a study that examines attitudes regarding driving after drinking as seen by those who self-identify as A) Alcoholics; B) Heavy Drinkers; C) Social Drinkers; D) Non-drinkers. I wonder if those who beat their chests suggesting that they would never cause a problem in their vehicle after a little wine with their steak can back that up statistically. While I don't drink, I have spent plenty of hours out socially with those who do and it has been my experience that they rarely have a good idea of how buzzed they are, and as they actually get "drunk" they are very poor at making good assessments of their condition. Sure, that's a broad brush and there will be some exceptions...yet I suspect that most drinkers believe THEY are the exception. Sort of like asking people if they are better than average drivers and having 80% answer "yes." I believe that the Curtain and other restrictions exist to hinder the promotion of alcohol consumption. Until we have better methods for keeping drinkers from operating their vehicles we need to do our best to control those who cannot or will not control themselves.

Brahmabull
sandy, ut

alcohol laws are great so far as they help protect people. Making Utahns buy liquor in a state owned store instead of a grocery store doesn't help protect people. If a person is going to drink and drive they are going to do so no matter if they buy the product at a grocery store or a liquor store. Generally I am satisfied that I can drink when I want, and although it is slightly inconvenient that I have to go to the liquor store it isn't a huge deal. The zion curtain is ridiculous, but doesn't create any big problems for me.

The Scientist
Provo, UT

Although I don't drink alcohol (or carbonated beverages, for a variety of scientifically-based health reasons), I concur with Brahmabull's opinion.

I also add that, more than anything, I am opposed to Utah's liquor laws for no other reason than they seem to be an expression and manifestation of the LDS Church's inappropriate involvement in, and influence over, legislation and government in this state.

On the basis of principle (the spirit of the 1st Amendment), I object and would like to see a rational and un-religiously-biased discussion of alcohol legislation in Utah.

I am confident that reason (rather than faith) will serve as a superior basis for legislation of alcohol consumption.

Shazandra
Bakersfield, CA

Good work, Utah. Stay focused and ignore the progressives: They only bring entropy in every form.

Now work on your suicide rates and you may become all that Brigham foresaw.

LiberalJimmy
Salt Lake City, UT

@WRK..."If you don't like the laws here in Utah go to another State." Typical closed minded Utah County comment. Is that the message of your Mormon faith? Is that not exactly what happened to your Mormon ancestors? Pushed and kicked out of State after State until they found "Zion". Your comment didn't strike me as very tolerant of others whom do not practice your religion and believe it or not there are many here in Utah that do not..Just a thought!

LiberalJimmy
Salt Lake City, UT

@Shazandra...Have you ever looked up the meaning of the word "progressive"? Apparently not! Also, what does Brigham Young have ANYTHING to do with State liquor laws? There supposed to be separate. Remember? Something us "Progressives" will definitely be changing here in Utah over the next several years. Go take a look at this document called The Constitution it clearly spells this out.

fp88ren
Providence, UT

Red Corvette

Empirical data elsewhere invalidates your statement.

Loosening of alcohol regulations, be they related to zoning, licensing, or general access has ALWAYS had a correlation with increase in alcohol-related domestic and community issues. I'm not saying that this should not happen. Should a community majority desire the increased "freedom" and is willing to accept the downside, have at it. Just don't try to portray this in any other than its true light. Accusing a religious organization of "abuse of power" for merely weighing in on this subject strikes me as un-American.

Shazandra
Bakersfield, CA

Right on, LibJimmy. As first territorial governor, BY had nothing to do with Utah's state liquor laws. Neither did his Mormon legislature impact any of your "Sabbath" laws.

But, reading his journals will enlighten you.

Vis-a vis my correlation of lowering Utah's suicide rate with helping the Beehive State become all that Brigham wanted for his beloved saints, again- read his memoirs and Discourses. I will never believe in his celestial marriage theology, buf he forged an empire with pure determination and vision. He knew the cost in blood and treasure. I assure you that he wanted only the best for his Deseret.

And I would stand beside my grandmother and fight for Abolition, too. Even if it saved only one life.

merich39
Salt Lake City, UT

A number of responses here have contained the general message that "the current system is working, so don't change it" as it pertains to the Zion Curtain. If "the current system is working so don't change it', then why is the state considering lowering the blood alcohol level from .08 to .04? If we've reached liquor law nirvana, then leave the current limit where it's at because we have proof, via our low DUI rates, that the current laws are just fine.

And there are a number of responses here from those that seem to think that anyone who has one drink will inevitably end up having more than one drink. They seem to believe that no one drinks and then stops short of getting drunk. This is a completely incorrect perception. In my experience, a very large majority of restaurant drinkers have only one alcoholic drink and stop short of being drunk.

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