SALT LAKE CITY — State attorneys say Utah has authority to prevent beer taverns and liquor clubs from offering happy-hour discounts.

The response comes this week as Utah Attorney General's Office is asking a federal judge to dismiss a hospitality industry lawsuit.

The Utah Hospitality Association says the ban on happy hour discounts and Utah's scarce availability of liquor licenses violate federal antitrust law.

The trade group filed an amended lawsuit in October seeking to block Utah legislators from taking influence from the Mormon church when writing liquor laws.

In their response, state lawyers say religious groups have a right to participate in the political process.

— Associated Press