A former state legislator joins Utah’s liquor commission

Steve Handy, who was defeated in his 2022 re-election bid, has been confirmed for the DABS commission.

A former Utah state legislator is now a member of the state’s liquor commission.

Steve Handy, who represented Layton in the Utah Legislature for 12 years, was confirmed as a Department of Alcoholic Beverage Services commissioner Wednesday, after being appointed by Gov. Spencer Cox.

Handy is scheduled to serve a four-year term. He takes the seat held by Stan Parrish, who left the board in July.

Handy will sit on the commission for its next meeting, on Aug. 31.

In a statement, Handy said that the commission “does important work ensuring public safety around alcohol policies and supporting Utah businesses that rely on the commission to keep their doors open, contributing to our state’s economy.”

Handy is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members traditionally abstain from alcohol as a tenet of their faith.

According to a DABS spokesperson, Handy will join two other commissioners, Jacquelyn Orton and Natalie Randall, who do not drink alcohol. The remaining four — chairwoman Tara Thue, and members Juliette Tennert, Jennifer Tarazon and Thomas Jacobsen — make up a majority of the seven-member board who imbibe.

The DABS commission oversees the implementation of Utah’s sometimes complicated liquor policies. The board decides which businesses will receive liquor licenses, and whether businesses that violate liquor laws should forfeit those licenses. They also oversee a government agency that was responsible for $557 million in alcohol sales in the 12 months ending June 30, 2022.

Handy lost his bid for re-election to the Utah House of Representatives in 2022, having mounted a failed write-in campaign after he was ousted at the Davis County GOP convention by the seat’s current occupant, Trevor Lee.

Before his 2010 election to the Utah Legislature, Handy served two terms on the Layton City Council. He owns a public relations and marketing communications consulting business, and at different times was marketing director for both the Standard-Examiner and the Deseret News.