Alcohol laws of Utah
The alcohol laws of Utah regulate the selling and purchasing of alcohol in the United States state of Utah, and are some of the most conservative in the USA. A person must be 21 years old to buy or consume alcohol. The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (UDABC) has regulated the sale of alcoholic beverages since 1935, two years after the end of prohibition. Utah is one of 18 control states, meaning the state has a monopoly over the wholesaling and/or retailing of some or all categories of alcoholic beverages.
Current Utah law sets a limit of 3.2 percent alcohol by weight (4 percent by volume) in beer sold at grocery and convenience stores and at establishments operating under a "beer only" type license, such as taverns, beer bars and some restaurants. Beer over 3.2 percent by weight (4 percent by volume) is available in State Liquor Stores and Package Agencies and at clubs and restaurants licensed to sell liquor. In commercial facilities, the time at which alcohol may be served is limited, and alcohol may not be sold any later than 1 am under any circumstance.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to which a majority of Utahns belong, teaches its members against the consumption of alcohol. Because of this traditional Mormon belief and the large population of Mormons in Utah, the alcohol laws of Utah have generally been strict.
2002 Winter Olympic Games 
During the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (UDABC) relaxed enforcement of Utah's alcohol laws. This helped lead to less restrictive laws that came into effect in May 2003. This came after complaints, particularly after an incident in which an International Olympic Committee official complained.
2009 efforts for reform 
Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. (in office 2005–2009), a member of LDS church, had been a proponent of loosening of alcohol laws. He believed reform would be favorable to the state's tourism industry.
These changes turned out to be favorable to Utah, especially during Utah's ski season.[clarification needed] Perhaps the most popular among tourists and locals was the 2009 disbanding of private clubs. Effective in June 2009, bars and clubs were no longer required to charge a cover, or a membership fee, which made liquor more accessible to tourists and locals alike.
Even though homebrewing of beer and wine had been popular for many years in Utah, with multiple retail and even wholesale outlets for purchasing supplies, and ingredients, there was no law forbidding it or allowing it on the books. In March 2009, homebrewing for the citizens of the state was made legal.
Current Utah Laws as of November 2011 
These are the current laws according to the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Link to Current Laws. These laws include restaurants and clubs being prohibited from serving beer until 11:30 am and not after 1:00 am. As you will see from the link above, restaurants either have full or limited liquor licenses which makes a difference to some when deciding where to have dinner or get drinks.
The state has seen a significant increase in alcoholic sales recently - from 2006 to 2012, alcohol sales in the state increased by 30%, far outpacing the growth of the population. From 2001 to 2009, the population of Utah increased by 22% but alcohol consumption increased by 54%. This has led to a push for more revisions to the liquor laws. Utah State Senator John L. Valentine is planning on introducing a bill that will allow each chain restaurant that enters Utah to obtain a "master" license for all of their locations, instead of having to apply for a liquor license at each individual location. This is hoped to speed up the process of obtaining liquor licenses, of which there are typically many, sometimes dozens, of restaurants applying for a single license every month.
On March 8, 2013, the Utah legislature passed a law allowing restaurant patrons to order alcohol before ordering food after a controversial series of citations was issued to several restaurants.
Public opinion 
According to a survey conducted by the Mormon sponsored media outlet Deseret News in 2005, the majority of Utahns support the current alcohol laws. 70 percent support the current 3.2 percent alcohol limit, and one third believe the laws are too restrictive.
- Hampson, Rick (September 21, 2011). "Stiff penalites for stiff drinks: Utah tightens liquor laws". USA Today. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
- Liquor Laws Affecting Residents and Visitors. Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Accessed February 2, 2009.
- About DABC. Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Accessed February 2, 2009.
- Lythgoe, Dennis (March 21–22, 1991). "Confused about Utah's liquor laws? Here's a timely explanation". Deseret News. Retrieved February 7, 2009.
- Chang, Vanessa (January 25, 2009). "Brew Pubs Gain an Unlikely Following in Utah". NYT. Retrieved February 2, 2009.
- "Records: Percentage of Mormons in Utah declines". AZ Central. November 20, 2008. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
- Hinckley, Gordon B.. Words of the Prophet: The Body Is Sacred. New Era (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). Published Nov 2–5, 2006. Accessed February 10, 2009.
- Kerig, Bill (October 29, 2003). "What's up with Utah's liquor laws?". USA Today. Retrieved February 10, 2009.
- Olympics Dry As A Bone. CBS News. Accessed February 10, 2009.
- Bernick Jr., Bob; Lisa Riley Roche (February 1, 2009). "Hughes charging into the fray for Huntsman liquor bill". Deseret News. Retrieved February 10, 2009.
- Pyrah, Joe (January 25, 2009). "Taxes, liquor laws on the docket for 2009 Legislature". Daily Herald. Retrieved February 10, 2009.
- "Utah legalizes homebrewing". Wikinews. March 29, 2009. Retrieved February 28, 2009.
- Imbibing up big in Utah, which may mean more liquor licenses. House, Dawn. Salt Lake Tribune. 1 Nov 2012. Accessed 7 Nov 2012.
- Utah diners may sip alcohol before ordering food. Davidson, Lee. Salt Lake Tribune. 8 Mar 2013.
- Spangler, Jerry (December 8, 2005). "Utahns don't support looser state liquor laws, group says". Deseret News. Retrieved February 10, 2009.