Liquor laws front and center at State Capitol

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) –  Utah’s liquor laws and policies are drawing folks to the Utah State Capitol Friday.

The state’s liquor laws will be discussed at the first Alcohol Summit to be held in the past five years.

“We are trying to help people understand these decisions and these trade-offs in this context,” State Representative Timothy Hawkes said.

The conference will focus on topics such as meeting consumer demands.

Issues like the dangers of drinking too much and mental health addiction will be discussed, but we’re told the so-called “Beer Bill” that passed last legislative session will be front and center.

The bill allows retailers to sell 4 percent alcoholic beer, increase the excise tax, and creates a task force to study a move to 4.8 percent beer.

Which Paul Pisano with the National Beer Wholesalers Association says will have a large impact on retailers.

“Bigger loads for certain accounts and less for other accounts. It’s a whole restricting in that approach and obviously the consumer has an interest in some of these ABV products,” Paul Pisa National Beer Wholesales Association said.

The summit will also focus on warning the consumer about alcohol overdosing and the impacts of drinking too much.

“I think we are always trying to strike that balance between making alcohol available to those who choose to use it and also managing the social costs of abuse,” State Representative Timothy Hawkes said.

Lawmakers say this is a time for everyone to come together to learn about the state’s laws in time for the next legislative session.

The summit is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Details can be found here.

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