The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was among the approximately 500 groups and individuals to respond to the state's survey on whether liquor laws should be changed.
William S. Evans, director of the church community relations department, submitted a three-page response. He said the response is based on a recognition that Utah is a pluralistic state with a population of drinkers as well as non-drinkers. The LDS Church teaches total abstinence from all alcoholic beverages.Here are the seven questions of the survey, followed by the complete answers provided by the church:
Q. What principles should govern state control of alcoholic beverages?
A. The governing principles of Utah's alcoholic beverage control laws aim to minimize alcohol abuse and alcohol consumption by ensuring that: (1) the sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages be controlled by the state; (2) all profits from the sale of alcoholic beverages inure to the state; and (3) consumption of alcoholic beverages not be promoted.
We support these governing principles and urge that any changes in Utah's alcoholic beverage control laws not violate these guiding principles.
Utah's alcoholic beverage control laws and regulations should reasonably accommodate those who wish to consume alcoholic beverages without imposing on the majority of Utah citizens who do not. These laws and regulations should be adequately and uniformly enforced to ensure that their intent is met.
People throughout the world are increasingly aware of the high health, safety and social costs caused by alcohol abuse. The trend of the law is toward more, not less, control of alcoholic beverages. Utah should remain a leader in this important area.
Q. What limitations, if any, should be placed on the number of places where liquor may be sold and consumed in Utah?
A. The sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages should be controlled and limited by state statute patterned after existing formulas based on population. We believe that public opinion supports these limitations and the continued control of alcoholic beverages by the state.
Q. When, where and how should liquor, wine and beer be sold, dispensed and consumed in Utah, including any restrictions on time and place of sale and method of dispensing?
A. The time, place and manner of service of alcoholic beverages should remain a matter of state control.
For years Utah has been a leader in restricting noon-time drinking. These restrictions have positive social benefits.
The easy access to and high consumption of beer have become major problems with adverse societal costs and consequences. This issue is more specifically addressed in the reply to question 5.
Q. Should any restrictions be placed on the advertising of liquor, wine and beer?
A. Advertisements of alcoholic products, particularly those targeting youth, are often beguiling and totally ignore the tragic consequences of alcohol abuse in young human lives. Alcohol (especially beer) is the most prevalent gateway drug to harder drugs. Alcoholic beverages (including beer) should not be promoted and consumption should not be encouraged. We favor the elimination of advertising for all alcoholic beverages.
Q. Should state controls be placed on beer? If so, what controls?
A. Currently, beer is virtually uncontrolled, although more alcohol is consumed in the form of beer than all other alcoholic beverages combined. Beer is the most widely abused alcoholic beverage in the United States, including Utah. State control of other forms of alcoholic beverages, including licenses, hours and enforcement, has worked well in containing abuse. We recommend that careful consideration be given to state control of beer. For beer to be outside state control seems to be a paradox and runs counter to the principles of the alcoholic beverage control laws.
Q. What other comment or suggestions do you have about the purpose and direction of Utah liquor laws?
A. Laws not adequately enforced are ineffective and counterproductive. We favor strong and uniform enforcement of state alcoholic beverage control laws. Where necessary, enforcement should be increased. Funds appropriated for alcoholic beverage control law enforcement should be used for that purpose.
Q. Will your approach and comments be philosophically acceptable to Utah residents?
A. The majority of Utahns do not consume alcoholic beverages. Laws controlling these substances should adequately reflect the safety and lifestyle interests of the majority who do not drink, while reasonably accommodating those who wish to drink. Effective state control of alcoholic beverages is an important factor in reduced alcohol consumption.