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SALT LAKE CITY -- With big changes to the state's alcohol rules, one prominent Utah lawmaker said make no mistake, Utah is cracking down on drinking and driving.
Utah lawmakers did pass the most far-reaching change to liquor laws in decades this session. But perhaps overshadowed, they also approved tougher penalties for drinking and driving.
Lawmakers passed a bill which will essentially mark the end of private clubs, where customers at a bar have to fill out a membership and pay a fee.
They also passed a series of changes, cracking down on drunk driving.
- Minors convicted of drunk driving will lose their license until they're 21.
- Adults convicted of drunk driving will lose their license for 120 days.
- Repeat drunk-driving offenders will have both their license and vehicle taken away. Friday, leaders of both parties joined a question-and-answer session with students at the University of Utah. Senate President Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, said lawmakers want young people in particular to take notice of the changes. He said, "No. 1, we don't believe in underage drinking and we mean it. No. 2, we don't believe in overconsumption. And No. 3, we're going to have no tolerance for DUI." On other issues, legislative leaders said the economic crisis made for tough decisions regarding the state's budget. They said they were pleased with progress on ethics reform and health care. And they noted that the tone of things on the Hill was more civil this year. They hoped that boded well for getting things done next year, which promises to be another tough one money-wise. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org