Underage Drinking


The policy topics, below, address statues and regulations related to underage drinking and access to alcohol.

Internal possession is prohibited with NO EXCEPTIONS.

Purchase is prohibited, but youth MAY PURCHASE for law enforcement purposes.

  • Beer: 21 for both servers and bartenders
  • Wine: 21 for both servers and bartenders
  • Spirits: 21 for both servers and bartenders
  • Beer: 21
  • Wine: 21
  • Spirits: 21

Although employees must be at least 21 years of age to sell "liquor" at off-sale establishments in Utah, persons persons between 16 and 21 years of age may sell "beer" (defined as containing not more than 4% ABV or 3.2% ABW) on the premises of a beer retailer for off- premise consumption if under the supervision of a person 21 years of age or older who is on the premises.

Provision(s) targeting minors:

  • Use of a false ID to obtain alcohol is a criminal offense
  • No driver's license suspension procedure

Provision(s) targeting suppliers:

  • It is a criminal offense to lend, transfer, or sell a false ID

Provision(s) targeting retailers:

  • State provides incentives to retailers who use electronic scanners that read birthdate and other information digitally encoded on valid identification cards
  • Licenses for drivers under age 21 are easily distinguishable from those for drivers age 21 and older
  • Retailers are permitted to seize apparently false IDs
  • Specific affirmative defense - the retailer inspected the false ID and came to a reasonable conclusion based on its appearance that it was valid
  • Retailer has the statutory right to sue a minor who uses a false ID to purchase alcohol for any losses or fines suffered by the retailer as a result of the illegal sale
  • Retailer has the authority to detain a minor suspected of using a false ID in connection with the purchase of alcohol

BAC limit: 0.00 - any detectable alcohol in the blood is per se (conclusive) evidence of a violation.

Applies to drivers under age 21.

Keg definition: Keg sales prohibited

Purchaser information collected:

Deposit required: $

Provisions do not specifically address disposable kegs

Prior to October 1, 2011, Utah’s prohibition against sales of beer in containers larger than 2 liters was limited to beer containing not more than 4% ABV.

Type(s) of violation leading to driver's license suspension, revocation, or denial:

  • Underage purchase
  • Underage possession
  • Underage consumption

Use/lose penalties apply to minors under age 21

Authority to impose driver's license sanction

  • mandatory

Length of suspension/revocation: 365 days

Social host law is specifically limited to underage drinking parties.

Action by underage guest that triggers violation:

Property type(s) covered by liability law:

  • Residence
  • Outdoor
  • Other

Standard for hosts' knowledge or action regarding the party: KNOWLEDGE - host must have actual knowledge of the occurrence

In Utah, an individual may not knowingly conduct, aid, or allow an "underage drinking gathering." An “underage drinking gathering” means a gathering of two or more individuals: (a) at which an individual knowingly serves, aids in the service of, or allows the service of an alcoholic beverage to an underage person; and (b) to which an emergency response provider is required to respond, except for a response related solely to providing medical care at the location of the gathering. The definition does not otherwise specify a Property Type or an Action by Underage Guest.