ST. GEORGE — This month marks 11 years of January as Parents Empowered Month in Utah, first declared by former Gov. Gary Herbert in 2013 and renewed by Gov. Spencer Cox last year.

Inside the State Liquor Store on 900 East in St. George, Utah, Sept. 1, 2023 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

In a recent press release, Department of Alcoholic Beverage Services Director Tiffany Clason shared that new survey data indicates the program’s effectiveness. An estimated 65,271 fewer Utah youth have ever tried alcohol, the result of decreasing alcohol use rates in Utah since 2005.

However, Clason says there’s still work to be done, as 49% of Utah kids who drink alcohol report doing so at home with their parents’ permission.

“I’m proud of the work of Parents Empowered and support their continued efforts to stop underage drinking in Utah,” Cox said in the news release. “Utah’s youth are the future of our state. We must do everything we can to ensure they grow up alcohol-free, with healthy brains so they can reach their full potential.”

Parents Empowered relies on data from the Utah Student Health and Risk Prevention survey to develop effective tools for informing the public on the harms of underage drinking. To address one alarming statistic – that 49% of Utah kids who drink alcohol get it at home with their parents’ permission – state liquor stores will begin posting signs this month reminding caregivers that no amount of alcohol is safe for kids, and to set clear no-drinking rules.

“The DABS is committed to doing our part to stop all underage drinking for the health and safety of Utah families,” Clason said. “Sharing Parents Empowered information at state liquor stores helps to get the message across that drinking, even at home with parents’ permission, is harmful to kids, damaging the developing brain. Instead, we must strongly disapprove of youth alcohol consumption, keeping their brains healthy and their futures bright.”

Exterior of the State Liquor Store on 900 East in St. George, Utah, Sept. 1, 2023 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Parents Empowered is backed by passionate Utahns from throughout the state who participate in its workgroup, Clason added. Together, the group advises and aligns on effective messages to share with families. Group members are active in their local communities, deploying events to connect with kids and families across the state, preventing and reducing underage drinking.

More information, including tips on how parents can bond with children, set clear boundaries and monitor kids’ activities to prevent underage drinking, is found at

About Parents Empowered

Parents Empowered is Utah’s underage drinking prevention media and community education campaign. It is funded and managed by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Services with the support of state and local partners throughout Utah.

Parents Empowered’s goal is to have every Utah child reach the age of 21 alcohol-free so they can have a healthier brain and a brighter future.