One example is government regulation of the sale of alcohol. Under North Carolina law, the state`s Liquor Control Commission (ABC) has final decision-making authority over most aspects of alcohol sales. The current legislation, G.S. 18B-901, provides that the ABC Commission issues all ABC licences and determines the factors it must consider when granting licences. These include several land use factors: the number of places that already have ABC permits in the neighborhood, parking and traffic, the types of businesses already located in the neighborhood, proximity to schools and churches, zoning, local government recommendations, and potential neighborhood inconveniences. Companies in the alcohol sales and manufacturing industry are often required to appear before the ABC Commission in Raleigh to request a special review or respond to alleged violations. Rawls, Scheer, Clary & Mingo has represented business clients before ABC`s Board of Directors for over 20 years, seeking Commission approval for extensions of physical premises for ABC permits, waivers, one-time special permits and waivers. Please note that while this document is intended to assist you in complying with the laws of North Carolina, it is in no way intended to provide legal advice. Please consult a licensed attorney to answer more specific questions that may arise in this regard. . In 1994, the General Assembly amended G.S.
18B-901(c) that the ABC Commission “considers” local zoning and related land use factors in ABC permitting decisions. S.L. 1994-749. The Act previously stated that the Commission could “consider” zoning. This reinforces the consideration the state must give to local zoning, but does not dictate consistency. In 2005, this section was again amended to require local governments to return a zoning and compliance form to the ABC Commission as part of the permit review process. S.L. 2005-392. This law also expanded the provision regarding potential damage to neighborhoods to specify that the Commission should consider past revocations, suspensions and violations of ABC Acts in the previous year at the site, as well as evidence of illegal drug-related activities, fights, disorderly behavior, and other dangerous activities (both at the facility and on associated premises).
In April 2010, the state`s ABC Commission announced the “last call” policy. The order allows the ABC Commission to impose an immediate suspension of ABC licences without the need for a vote by the Commission. This action is devastating for businesses that rely on the sale of alcohol to generate revenue and attract customers. Rawls, Scheer, Foster and Mingo are treating last-call suspensions as an emergency and will seek a quick resolution with the CBA Board of Directors. State ABC licensing laws also address the sale of alcohol in redevelopment areas. Several cities have raised concerns about convenience stores in economically depressed neighbourhoods selling large quantities of beer and wine. Some patrons tended to loiter and consume alcohol on nearby properties, which contributed to crime in the area and hampered neighborhood revitalization efforts. In response, G.S. 18B-309 was adopted in 1999 to address these concerns.  A grocery store or restaurant located in a designated urban redevelopment area cannot sell alcohol more than 50% of its total annual sales. A city may require the state ABC Commission to conduct an audit of such a business to determine if this maximum percentage of alcohol sales is exceeded, but it can only do so once a year for a single business.
If a company exceeds the maximum percentage, its CNB approvals must be revoked. Our Charlotte-based ABC specialists have over 20 years of experience in ABC law. They have represented many licensees. The company`s customers include restaurants, bars, distillers, craft breweries, and some of North Carolina`s largest stadiums and amphitheaters. Whether it`s helping to structure and grow a business, gaining approvals, or defending against regulations, Rawls, Scheer, Clary & Mingo works with clients to guide them in all aspects of their relationship with ABC`s Board of Directors. To avoid sanctions against the company, Rawls, Scheer, Clary & Mingo offers ABC training and employer training for employees and servers.