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New coalition aims to change Utah's beer laws in 2020

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Utah Consumer Coalition is eyeing the 2020 legislative session in hopes to change Utah's beer laws. (Photo: KUTV)

A local grassroots organization is eyeing the 2020 legislative session for one reason: to change Utah's beer laws.

Members of the Utah Consumer Coalition say they feel "disenfranchised by Utah's lawmakers and special interest groups when drafting laws that govern the sale of beer in Utah."

According to the coalition's website, they will be advocating for laws that allow beer to be dispensed directly into a glass in local restaurants, bars and breweries.

Current Utah law requires all beer above five percent alcohol by volume (ABV) to be packaged into individual bottles or cans.

The coalition also wants to change the law to allow breweries to sell heavy beer in "1/6 and 1/2 barrel containers" and allow licensees permitting the sell of heavy beer that can be poured straight into a glass.

We support Utah’s health and safety values and recognize the importance of creating safeguards to prevent alcohol use by minors. We also support efforts to prevent over-consumption and driving under the influence. The recommended changes to Utah law will have a neutral effect on underage drinking, but has the potential to reduce over-consumption and reduce driving under the influence by allowing the consumer to purchase smaller servings of heavy beer, by the glass.

During the last legislative session, Utah lawmakers raised the alcohol limit to four percent. This allows for some production-line beers to be sold in grocery and convenience stores.

Originally, the alcohol limit was going to be raised to 4.8 percent, until a compromise deal was struck.

2News reached out to the Utah Consumer Coalition for comment.

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