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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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!
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?
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.
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?
@cafIf 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...
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?
Red Corvetteyour bitterness does not help your causemaking 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.
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
@TheRealUI 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...
@WRKYou 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...
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.
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.
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
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
@TheRealUAhh, 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…
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.
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?
@WRKUnfortunately, 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
@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!
@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.
Red CorvetteEmpirical 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.
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.
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.
@Shazandra"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."--------Agree with your comment on ignoring the "progressive" trends.
Utah needs to stick to what is best for people when lives are at stake. A bit of
inconvenience with alcohol is well worth it.As far as suicide is
concerned, Utah's higher than average suicide rate has to do with the
higher altitude. The University of Utah Brain Institute has shown a correlation
with suicide and higher altitudes. This is why the Rocky Mountain states have
much higher suicide rates than elsewhere in the USA. However, Utah is
consistently near the bottom of the Rocky Mountain states with suicide. So, it
seems that Utah is doing something right with the suicide problems. But, still
work remains to be done, of course. But it is difficult to counter the higher