As long as there are minors, there will be minors attempting to stretch the boundaries of the law. This applies to everything from driving to alcohol. Today, however, we’ll be focusing on the latter.
While underage drinking in Utah has been trending down the past decade, it remains an important issue, especially for those who serve alcohol. Here are some statistics about underage drinking in Utah that you need to know, courtesy of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
- One in Four People Aged 18-20 Drank Alcohol in the Past Month
According to SAMHSA, 24.4 percent of people in the age 18-20 category used alcohol in the past month and 17.3 percent of people in the same category binged on alcohol use in the past month. This means that a quarter of people in this age range who are still underage are drinking alcohol and accessing it somewhere. This is a good reminder that some young adults are still too young to be legally drinking.
- There Were Almost 30 Alcohol-Related Deaths in 2021
There were 29 alcohol-attributable deaths for people age 21 and under in Utah in 2021. This is equivalent to 1,750 years of potential life lost. The younger a person is, the less likely they have experience with alcohol use and are more likely they are to overconsume.
- The Average Initiation Age of Alcohol Use is 16.5
If someone is going to be underage drinking in Utah, they start at an average of 16.5 years old. The goal for alcohol servers and responsible adults should be to increase this age until it gets as close to 21 years old as possible. It’s also important to note that 1.3 percent of minors aged 12-14 in Utah admitted to using alcohol in the past month, according to SAMHSA’s report.
- Only Two Fatal Crashes in 2021 Involved a Minor with BAC More Than 0.01%
Five percent of all fatal crashes in Utah in 2021 involving a 15-to-20-year-old driver. Among them, only two involved a 15-to-20-year-old driver with a blood alcohol content of greater than 0.01 percent. This indicates that while many minors admit to drinking, a lower percentage drinks while or after driving. If you notice an underage person drinking, helping them find a ride home can keep this number low.
- The Minimum Age for Any Alcoholic Beverage is 21
As a reminder, it doesn’t matter whether the beverage is beer, wine or spirits, if someone is under the age of 21, they are prohibited from purchasing it. Additionally, employees must be at least 21 years of age to sell liquor and between 16 and 21 to sell beer. Even if a manager isn’t present, these standards must be followed.
Whether you’re seeking an alcohol seller certification or are looking for ways to curb alcohol sales to minors or those underage in Utah, we can help. Sign up for our Utah alcohol seller certification course today!