New alcohol numbers released in Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY — New numbers released by the state of Utah detail alcohol use in the tightly-controlled state.

The Alcohol Abuse Tracking Committee released its first annual report on Friday. Lawmakers are expected to look to the report as they draft liquor legislation in the state.

Read the AATC’s first annual report here.

The report noted that DUI-related deaths were trending downward in Utah, a drop of nearly 7-percent between 2011-2012.

A majority of people surveyed by the report (nearly 60%) drink at home, with another 19% drinking at someone else’s house. Only 9.4% reported drinking at restaurants. The Utah State Liquor stores sold the majority of alcohol, followed by grocery stores and convenience stores and restaurants.

The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control reported the majority of its violations from January to June 2013 were for sale to minors, with failure to use an electronic scanning device to check IDs being the second most frequent. Utah’s controversial “intent to dine” rule, where patrons must indicate that they plan to eat food at a restaurant before they get a drink, was the fourth most frequent violation.

What is unclear in the report is whether or not another controversial liquor law — the so-called “Zion Curtains” — that prohibit you from seeing drinks being prepared in restaurants, impact sales of alcohol to minors.

Rep. Ryan Wilcox, R-Ogden, who has sponsored some liquor legislation in Utah (and supports eliminating the Zion Curtains) is expected to address the report at the state capitol on Friday afternoon.

More on FOX 13 News and as the story develops…

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