The North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission (NC ABC Commission) is an independent state agency housed in the NC Department of Public Safety with a direct report to the Governor’s Office. The Commission provides uniform control over the sale, purchase, transportation, manufacture, consumption and possession of all alcoholic beverages in the state. Nationally, North Carolina is one of 17 control states/jurisdictions and is a member of the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association.
The NC ABC Commission meets monthly to hear and take action on permit violations, requests for approval of new ABC store locations, and other matters within the Commission's regulatory authority. North Carolina’s ABC laws are found in Chapter 18B of the NC General Statutes and the Commission’s Rules are found in Title 14B, Chapter 15 of the NC Administrative Code. As the chief regulator for all alcoholic beverages in the state, the Commission sits squarely at the intersection of public health, public safety, and fair commercial regulation.
For more detailed information, please view our most recent Annual Report.
In 1935, the North Carolina Legislature authorized the Governor to appoint a commission to study the question of control of alcoholic beverages. The commission examined two models being implemented by other states at the end of Prohibition: state licensing systems and state monopoly systems. After careful study, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act was submitted to the General Assembly of 1937, and a monopoly system was enacted into law in North Carolina. The Control Act provided for the establishment of a State Board of Control consisting of a chairman and two associate members appointed by the Governor. The Control Act also provided for a plan under which no county or city in the state could allow the sale of alcoholic beverages unless first approved by the local voters. Today, that state board of control is known as the NC ABC Commission. In North Carolina, the sale of beer/wine/mixed drinks is legal only in jurisdictions that have voted in favor of it, and county/municipal boards operate the retail stores that sell bottles of spirituous liquor.