North Carolina Statutes

Chapter 18B Regulation of Alcoholic Beverages

Article 1 - General Provisions.

  • § 18B-100   Purpose of Chapter
    This Chapter is intended to establish a uniform system of control over the sale, purchase, transportation, manufacture, consumption, and possession of alcoholic beverages in North...
  • § 18B-101   Definitions
    As used in this Chapter, unless the context requires otherwise: (1) "ABC law" or "ABC laws" means any statute or statutes in this Chapter or...
  • § 18B-102   Manufacture, sale, etc., forbidden except as expressly authorized
    (a) General Prohibition. It shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, sell, transport, import, deliver, furnish, purchase, consume, or possess any alcoholic beverages except...
  • § 18B-102.1   Direct shipments from out-of-state prohibited
    (a) It is unlawful for any person who is an out‑of‑state retail or wholesale dealer in the business of selling alcoholic beverages to ship or...
  • § 18B-103   Exemptions
    The following activities shall be permitted: (1) The use of ethyl alcohol for scientific, chemical, pharmaceutical, mechanical, and industrial purposes; (2) The use of ethyl...
  • § 18B-104   Administrative penalties
    (a) Penalties. For any violation of the ABC laws, the Commission may take any of the following actions against a permittee: (1) Suspend the permittee's...
  • § 18B-105   Advertising
    (a) General Rule. No person shall advertise alcoholic beverages in this State except in compliance with the rules of the Commission. (b) Rule‑making Authority. The...
  • § 18B-106   Alcoholic beverages for use on oceangoing ships
    (a) Delivery Permitted. Alcoholic beverages for use outside the United States on oceangoing vessels shall be delivered as follows: (1) Spirituous liquor may be imported...
  • § 18B-107   Alcoholic beverages for use in air commerce
    (a) Purchase and Storage. The Commission may issue permits authorizing air carriers offering regularly scheduled or chartered flights in foreign, interstate, or intrastate commerce to...
  • § 18B-108   Sales on trains
    Alcoholic beverages may be sold on railroad trains in this State upon compliance with Article 2C of Chapter 105 of the General Statutes. Malt beverages,...
  • § 18B-109   Direct shipment of alcoholic beverages into State
    (a) General Prohibition. Except as provided in G.S. 18B‑1001.1, no person shall have any alcoholic beverage mailed or shipped to him from outside this State...
  • § 18B-110   Emergency
    When the Governor finds that a "state of emergency," as defined in G.S. 14‑288.1, exists anywhere in this State, he may (1) Order the closing...
  • § 18B-111   Nontaxpaid alcoholic beverages
    No person may possess, transport, or sell nontaxpaid alcoholic beverages except as authorized by the ABC law. (1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1262, s. 4.)
  • § 18B-112 through 18B-119   Reserved for future codification purposes

Article 1A - Compensation for Injury Caused by Sales to Underage Persons.

  • § 18B-120   Definitions
    As used in this Article: (1) "Aggrieved party" means a person who sustains an injury as a consequence of the actions of the underage person,...
  • § 18B-121   Claim for relief created for sale to underage person
    An aggrieved party has a claim for relief for damages against a permittee or local Alcoholic Beverage Control Board if: (1) The permittee or his...
  • § 18B-122   Burden of proof and admissibility of evidence
    The plaintiff shall have the burden of proving that the sale or furnishing of the alcoholic beverage to the underage person, as defined, was, under...
  • § 18B-123   Limitation on damages
    The total amount of damages that may be awarded to all aggrieved parties pursuant to any claims for relief under this Article is limited to...
  • § 18B-124   Joint and several liability
    The liability of the negligent driver or owner of the vehicle that caused the injury and the permittee or ABC board which sold or furnished...
  • § 18B-125   Exceptions
    This Article does not create a claim for relief against the following: (1) One who holds only a brown bagging permit, a special occasions permit,...
  • § 18B-126   Statute of limitations
    The statute of limitations is as provided in G.S. 1‑54. (1983, c. 435, s. 37.)
  • § 18B-127   Duty of clerk of superior court
    When execution on a judgment on a cause of action under G.S. 18B‑121 is returned unsatisfied, in whole or in part, the clerk of superior...
  • § 18B-128   Common-law rights not abridged
    The creation of any claim for relief by this Article may not be interpreted to abrogate or abridge any claims for relief under the common...
  • § 18B-129   No liability for refusal to sell or for holding documents
    (a) No permittee or his agent or employee may be held liable for damages resulting from the refusal to sell or furnish an alcoholic beverage...
  • § 18B-130 through 18B-199   Reserved for future codification purposes

Article 2 - State Administration.

  • § 18B-200   North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission
    (a) Creation of Commission; compensation. The North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission is created to consist of a chairman and two associate members. The chairman...
  • § 18B-201   Conflict of interest
    (a) Financial Interests Restricted. No person shall be appointed to or employed by the Commission, a local board, or the ALE Division if that person...
  • § 18B-202   Discharge upon conviction
    In addition to imposing any other penalty authorized by law, a judge may remove from office or discharge from employment any Commission or local board...
  • § 18B-203   Powers and duties of the Commission
    (a) Powers. The Commission shall have authority to: (1) Administer the ABC laws; (2) Provide for enforcement of the ABC laws, in conjunction with the...
  • § 18B-204   State warehouse
    (a) Contracting for Private Warehouse. The Commission shall provide for the receipt, storage, and distribution of spirituous liquor by one of the following methods: (1)...
  • § 18B-205   Accounts and reports required
    (a) Accounts and Reports. The Commission may require local boards to submit quarterly mixed beverage reports, quarterly and annual audits, monthly sales records, and any...
  • § 18B-206   Standards for alcoholic beverages
    (a) Authority to Set Standards. The Commission may set standards and adopt rules for malt beverages, unfortified wine, fortified wine, and spirituous liquor to protect...
  • § 18B-207   Rules
    The Commission shall have authority to adopt, amend, and repeal rules to carry out the provisions of this Chapter. Those rules shall become effective when...
  • § 18B-208   ABC Commission bonds and funds
    (a) Issuance of Bonds. As a means of raising the funds needed from time to time in the design, acquisition, construction, equipping, maintenance and operation...
  • § 18B-209 through 18B-299   Reserved for future codification purposes

Article 3 - Sale, Possession, and Consumption.

Article 4 - Transportation.

Article 5 - Law Enforcement.

  • § 18B-500   Alcohol law-enforcement agents
    (a) Appointment. The Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety shall appoint alcohol law‑enforcement agents and other enforcement personnel. The Secretary of Crime Control and...
  • § 18B-501   Local ABC officers
    (a) Appointment. Except as provided in subsection (f), each local board shall hire one or more ABC enforcement officers. Local ABC enforcement officers shall be...
  • § 18B-502   Inspection of licensed premises
    (a) Authority. To procure evidence of violations of the ABC law, alcohol law‑enforcement agents, employees of the Commission, local ABC officers, and officers of local...
  • § 18B-503   Disposition of seized alcoholic beverages
    (a) Storage. A law‑enforcement officer who seizes alcoholic beverages as evidence of an ABC law violation shall provide for the storage of those alcoholic beverages...
  • § 18B-504   Forfeiture
    (a) Property Subject to Forfeiture. The following kinds of property shall be subject to forfeiture: (1) Motor vehicles, boats, airplanes, and all other conveyances used...
  • § 18B-505   Restitution
    When a person is convicted of a violation of the ABC laws, the court may order him to make restitution to any law‑enforcement agency for...
  • § 18B-506 through 18B-599   Reserved for future codification purposes

Article 6 - Elections.

  • § 18B-600   Places eligible to hold alcoholic beverage elections
    (a) Kinds of Elections. The following kinds of alcoholic beverage elections shall be permitted: (1) Malt beverage; (2) Unfortified wine; (3) ABC store; and (4)...
  • § 18B-601   Election procedure
    (a) Generally. Except as otherwise provided in this section, an alcoholic beverage election shall be conducted in the same manner and under the same rules...
  • § 18B-602   Form of ballots
    (a) Malt Beverage Elections. Any one or more of the propositions listed below may be placed on the ballot for a malt beverage election. Each...
  • § 18B-603   Effect of alcoholic beverage elections on issuance of permits
    (a) Malt Beverage Elections. If a malt beverage election is held under G.S. 18B‑602(a) and the sale of malt beverages is approved, the Commission may...
  • § 18B-604   Timing and effect of subsequent elections
    (a) Time Limits. No county alcoholic beverage election may be held within three years of the certification of the results of a previous election on...
  • § 18B-605   Local act elections
    If a jurisdiction has lawfully voted in favor of ABC stores or in favor of the sale of some kind of alcoholic beverage, and the...
  • § 18B-606 through 18B-699   Reserved for future codification purposes

Article 7 - Local ABC Boards.

Article 8 - Operation of ABC Stores.

  • § 18B-800   Sale of alcoholic beverages in ABC stores
    (a) Spirituous Liquor. Except as provided in Article 10 of this Chapter, spirituous liquor may be sold only in ABC stores operated by local boards....
  • § 18B-801   Location, opening, and closing of stores
    (a) Number of Stores. Each local board shall have the authority and duty to operate one ABC store. Additional stores may be operated with the...
  • § 18B-802   When stores operate
    (a) Time. No ABC store shall be open, and no ABC store employee shall sell alcoholic beverages, between 9:00 P.M. and 9:00 A.M. The local...
  • § 18B-803   Store management
    (a) Manager. A local board shall provide for the management of each store operated by it. The board shall employ at least one manager for...
  • § 18B-804   Alcoholic beverage pricing
    (a) Uniform Price of Spirituous Liquor. The retail price of spirituous liquor sold in ABC stores shall be uniform throughout the State, unless otherwise provided...
  • § 18B-805   Distribution of revenue
    (a) Gross Receipts. As used in this section, "gross receipts" means all revenue of a local board, including proceeds from the sale of alcoholic beverages,...
  • § 18B-806   Damaged alcoholic beverages
    (a) Owned by Local Board. All damaged alcoholic beverages owned by a local board shall be destroyed, given to a public or private hospital for...
  • § 18B-807   Rules
    The Commission may adopt rules concerning the organization and operation of self‑service ABC stores, the size of ABC store signs, the display of alcoholic beverages,...
  • § 18B-808   Warning signs regarding dangers of alcohol consumption during pregnancy required; posting
    (a) Each ABC store shall display or cause to be displayed warning signs that meet the requirements of this section on the store's premises to...
  • § 18B-809 through 18B-899   Reserved for future codification purposes

Article 9 - Issuance of Permits.

  • § 18B-900   Qualifications for permit
    (a) Requirements. To be eligible to receive and to hold an ABC permit, a person shall: (1) Be at least 21 years old, unless the...
  • § 18B-901   Issuance of permits
    (a) Who Issues. All ABC permits shall be issued by the Commission. Purchase‑transportation permits shall be issued by local boards under G.S. 18B‑403. (b) Notice...
  • § 18B-902   Application for permit; fees
    (a) Form. An application for an ABC permit shall be on a form prescribed by the Commission and shall be notarized. Each person required to...
  • § 18B-903   Duration of permit; renewal and transfer
    (a) Duration. Once issued, ABC permits shall be valid for the following periods, unless earlier surrendered, suspended or revoked: (1) On‑premises and off‑premises malt beverage,...
  • § 18B-904   Miscellaneous provisions concerning permits
    (a) Who Receives Permit. An ABC permit shall authorize the permitted activity only on the premises of the establishment named in the permit. An ABC...
  • § 18B-905   Temporary permits
    When an application has been received in proper form, with the required application fee, the Commission may issue a temporary permit for any of the...
  • § 18B-906   Applicability of Administrative Procedure Act
    (a) Act Applies. An ABC permit is a "license" within the meaning of G.S. 150B‑2, and, except for revocation pursuant to G.S. 18B‑904(e)(3), a Commission...
  • § 18B-907 through 18B-999   Reserved for future codification purposes

Article 10 - Retail Activity.

  • § 18B-1000   Definitions concerning establishments
    The following requirements and definitions shall apply to this Chapter: (1) Community theatre. An establishment owned and operated by a bona fide nonprofit organization that...
  • § 18B-1001   Kinds of ABC permits; places eligible
    When the issuance of the permit is lawful in the jurisdiction in which the premises are located, the Commission may issue the following kinds of...
  • § 18B-1001.1   Authorization of wine shipper permit
    (a) A winery holding a federal basic wine manufacturing permit located within or outside of the State may apply to the Commission for issuance of...
  • § 18B-1001.2   Additional wine shipping requirements
    (a) A wine shipper permittee shall: (1) Compile and submit to the Commission quarterly a summary indicating all wine products shipped, including brand and price...
  • § 18B-1001.3   Authorization of wine shipper packager permit
    The holder of a wine shipper packager permit may provide services for the warehousing, packaging, and shipment of wine on behalf of a winery holding...
  • § 18B-1002   Special one-time permits
    (a) Kinds of Permits. In addition to the other permits authorized by this Chapter, the Commission may issue permits for the following activities: (1) A...
  • § 18B-1003   Responsibilities of permittee
    (a) Premises. For purposes of this Chapter, a permittee shall be responsible for the entire premises for which the permit is issued. The permittee shall...
  • § 18B-1004   Hours for sale and consumption
    (a) Hours. Except as otherwise provided in this section, it shall be unlawful to sell malt beverages, unfortified wine, fortified wine, or mixed beverages between...
  • § 18B-1005   Conduct on licensed premises
    (a) Certain Conduct. It shall be unlawful for a permittee or his agent or employee to knowingly allow any of the following kinds of conduct...
  • § 18B-1005.1   Sexually explicit conduct on licensed premises
    (a) It shall be unlawful for a permittee or his agent or employee to knowingly allow or engage in any of the following kinds of...
  • § 18B-1006   Miscellaneous provisions on permits
    (a) School and College Campuses. No permit for the sale of malt beverages, unfortified wine, or fortified wine shall be issued to a business on...
  • § 18B-1006.1   Additional requirement for certain permittees to recycle beverage containers
    Holders of on‑premises malt beverage permits, on‑premises unfortified wine permits, on‑premises fortified wine permits, and mixed beverages permits shall separate, store, and provide for the...
  • § 18B-1007   Additional requirements for mixed beverages permittees
    (a) Purchases. A mixed beverages permittee may purchase spirituous liquor for resale as mixed beverages and a guest room cabinet permittee may purchase spirituous liquor...
  • § 18B-1008   Rules concerning retail permits
    The Commission is authorized to use broad discretion in further defining the kinds of places eligible for permits under this Article. The rules may state...
  • § 18B-1009   In-stand sales
    Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to prohibit a retail permittee from selling for consumption, malt beverages in the seating areas of stadiums, ballparks,...
  • § 18B-1010 through 18B-1099   Reserved for future codification purposes

Article 11 - Commercial Activity.

  • § 18B-1100   Commercial permits
    The Commission may issue the following commercial permits: (1) Unfortified winery (2) Fortified winery (3) Limited winery (4) Brewery (5) Distillery (6) Fuel alcohol (7)...
  • § 18B-1101   Authorization of unfortified winery permit
    The holder of an unfortified winery permit may: (1) Manufacture unfortified wine; (2) Sell, deliver and ship unfortified wine in closed containers to wholesalers licensed...
  • § 18B-1102   Authorization of fortified winery permit
    The holder of a fortified winery permit may: (1) Manufacture, purchase, import and transport brandy and other ingredients and equipment used in the manufacture of...
  • § 18B-1103   Authorization of limited winery permit
    (a) Special Qualifications. Any winery which holds an unfortified winery permit and which produces its wine principally from honey, grapes or other fruit or grain...
  • § 18B-1104   Authorization of brewery permit
    The holder of a brewery permit may: (1) Manufacture malt beverages; (2) Purchase malt, hops and other ingredients used in the manufacture of malt beverages;...
  • § 18B-1105   Authorization of distillery permit
    (a) Authorized Acts. The holder of a distillery permit may: (1) Manufacture, purchase, import, possess and transport ingredients and equipment used in the distillation of...
  • § 18B-1105.1   Authorization of liquor importer/bottler permit
    The holder of a liquor importer/bottler permit may: (1) Receive spirituous liquor in closed containers into foreign trade zones at the State Port facilities in...
  • § 18B-1106   Authorization of wine importer permit
    (a) Authorization. The holder of a wine importer permit may: (1) Import fortified and unfortified wines from outside the United States in closed containers; (2)...
  • § 18B-1107   Authorization of wine wholesaler permit
    (a) Authorization. The holder of a wine wholesaler permit may: (1) Receive, possess and transport shipments of fortified and unfortified wine. The wine must be...
  • § 18B-1108   Authorization of malt beverages importer permit
    The holder of a malt beverages importer permit may: (1) Import malt beverages from outside the United States in closed containers; (2) Store those malt...
  • § 18B-1109   Authorization of malt beverages wholesaler permit
    (a) Authorization. The holder of a malt beverages wholesaler permit may: (1) Receive, possess and transport shipments of malt beverages; (2) Sell, deliver and ship,...
  • § 18B-1110   Authorization of bottler permit
    (a) Authorization. The holder of a bottler permit may: (1) Receive, possess and transport shipments of malt beverages, unfortified wine and fortified wine; (2) Bottle,...
  • § 18B-1111   Authorization of salesman permit
    (a) Authorized Acts. The holder of a salesman permit may sell and transport malt beverages for a malt beverage wholesaler or sell and transport unfortified...
  • § 18B-1112   Authorization of vendor representative permit
    (a) Authorized Acts. The holder of a vendor representative permit may represent an unfortified winery, fortified winery, limited winery, brewery, bottler, importer, nonresident malt beverage...
  • § 18B-1113   Authorization of nonresident malt beverage vendor permit
    The holder of a nonresident malt beverage vendor permit may sell, deliver, and ship malt beverages in this State only to wholesalers, importers, and bottlers...
  • § 18B-1114   Authorization of nonresident wine vendor permit
    The holder of a nonresident wine vendor permit may sell, deliver, and ship unfortified and fortified wine in this State only to wholesalers, importers, and...
  • § 18B-1114.1   Authorization of winery special event permit
    (a) Authorization. The holder of an unfortified winery permit, a limited winery permit, a viticulture/enology course authorization, or a wine producer permit may obtain a...
  • § 18B-1114.2   Effect of cider and vinegar manufacturer permit
    The holder of a cider and vinegar manufacturer permit may purchase and transport unlimited quantities of out‑of‑date unfortified or fortified wines from wine wholesalers for...
  • § 18B-1114.3   Authorization of wine producer permit
    (a) Authorization. The holder of a wine producer permit may: (1) Ship crops grown on land owned by it in North Carolina to a winery,...
  • § 18B-1114.4   Viticulture/Enology course authorization
    (a) Authorization. The holder of a viticulture/enology course authorization may: (1) Manufacture wine from grapes grown on the school's campus or the school's contracted or...
  • § 18B-1115   Commercial transportation
    (a) Permit Required. Unless a person holds a permit which otherwise allows him to transport more than 80 liters of malt beverages other than draft...
  • § 18B-1116   Exclusive outlets prohibited
    (a) Prohibitions. It shall be unlawful for any manufacturer, bottler, or wholesaler of any alcoholic beverages, or for any officer, director, or affiliate thereof, either...
  • § 18B-1117   Repealed by Session Laws 1989, c. 142, s. 3
  • § 18B-1118   Purchase restrictions
    The holder of a malt beverage wholesaler, wine wholesaler, malt beverage importer, wine importer, or bottler permit may not purchase malt beverages or wine for...
  • § 18B-1119   Supplier's financial interest in wholesaler
    (a) A supplier or an officer, director, employee or affiliate of a supplier may financially assist a proposed purchaser in acquiring ownership of a wholesaler's...
  • § 18B-1120 through 18B-1199   Reserved for future codification purposes

Article 12 - Wine Distribution Agreements.

  • § 18B-1200   Construction; findings and purpose; exceptions
    (a) This Article shall be liberally construed and applied to promote its underlying purposes and policies. (b) The underlying purposes and policies of the Article...
  • § 18B-1201   Definitions
    As used in this Article, unless the context requires otherwise: (1) "Agreement" means a commercial relationship between a wine wholesaler and a winery. The agreement...
  • § 18B-1202   No inducement, coercion, or discrimination
    No winery may: (1) Induce, coerce, or attempt to induce or coerce any wine wholesaler to accept delivery of any alcoholic beverage or any other...
  • § 18B-1203   Primary area of responsibility
    (a) Each agreement shall designate a sales territory of the wholesaler. No winery may enter into more than one agreement for each brand of wine...
  • § 18B-1204   Cancellation
    Notwithstanding the terms, provisions, or conditions of any agreement, no winery may amend, cancel, terminate, or refuse to continue to renew any agreement, or cause...
  • § 18B-1205   Notice of intent to terminate
    (a) Except as provided in subsection (c), a winery shall provide a wholesaler at least 90 days prior written notice of any intention to amend,...
  • § 18B-1206   Transfer of business
    (a) No winery may unreasonably withhold or delay consent to any transfer of the wholesaler's business or transfer of the stock or other interest in...
  • § 18B-1207   Judicial remedies
    (a) If a winery violates any provision of this Article, a wholesaler may maintain a suit against the winery. The court may grant injunctive and...
  • § 18B-1208   Price of product
    No winery, whether by means of a term or condition of an agreement or otherwise, may directly or indirectly fix or maintain the prices at...
  • § 18B-1209   Retaliatory action prohibited
    No winery may take retaliatory action against a wholesaler who files or manifests an intention to file a complaint alleging that the winery violated a...
  • § 18B-1210   Management
    No winery may require or prohibit any change in management or personnel of any wholesaler unless the current or potential management or personnel fails to...
  • § 18B-1211   No discrimination
    No winery may discriminate among its wholesalers in any business dealings, including the price of wine sold to the wholesaler, unless the classification among its...
  • § 18B-1212   No waiver
    No winery may require any wholesaler to waive compliance with any provision of this Chapter. Nothing in this Chapter, however, may be construed to limit...
  • § 18B-1213   Obligations of purchaser
    The purchaser of a winery is obligated to all the terms and conditions of an agreement in effect on the date of the purchase, except...
  • § 18B-1214   Prohibited practices enumerated
    It is a violation of this Article for any winery, directly or indirectly, to engage in any of the following practices: (1) To restrict the...
  • § 18B-1215   Intent of nondiscrimination
    It is the intent of this Article that there shall be no unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, sex, religion, or national origin in...
  • § 18B-1216   Relation of Article to other laws
    Nothing in this Article relieves a winery or wholesaler of any obligation, duty, or prohibition imposed by any other provision of this Chapter or by...
  • § 18B-1217 through 18B-1299   Reserved for future codification purposes

Article 13 - Beer Franchise Law.

  • § 18B-1300   Purpose
    Pursuant to the authority of the State under the Twenty‑First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the General Assembly finds that regulation of the business...
  • § 18B-1301   Definitions
    (1) "Supplier" means a brewer, bottler, or importer of malt beverages, including anyone who holds a brewery, malt beverages importer or nonresident malt beverages vendor...
  • § 18B-1302   Franchise agreement
    (a) Nature of Agreement. A franchise agreement is a commercial relationship between a wholesaler and supplier of a definite or indefinite duration, whether written or...
  • § 18B-1303   Filing of distribution agreement; no discrimination
    (a) Filing. It is unlawful for a supplier to provide malt beverages to a wholesaler unless the Commission has received notification from the supplier designating...
  • § 18B-1304   Prohibitions
    It is unlawful for a supplier, or an officer, agent or representative of a supplier, to: (1) Coerce or attempt to coerce or persuade a...
  • § 18B-1305   Cause for termination of franchise agreement
    (a) Meaning of Good Cause. Good cause for altering or terminating a franchise agreement, or failing to renew or causing a wholesaler to resign from...
  • § 18B-1306   Remedies for wrongful termination
    (a) Injunctive Relief. A wholesaler whose franchise agreement is altered, terminated or not renewed in violation of this Article may bring an action to enjoin...
  • § 18B-1307   Transfer of wholesaler's business
    (a) Right of Transfer to Designated Family Member upon Death. Upon the death of a wholesaler, that individual's interest in the wholesaler business, including the...
  • § 18B-1308   Article part of all franchise agreements
    The provisions of this Article shall be part of all franchise agreements as defined in G.S. 18B‑1302 and may not be altered by the parties....