Blue Laws and NC Liquor Laws

by | Dec 5, 2019 | Blog Posts, NC Criminal Defense | 0 comments

Blue Laws and NC liquor laws – Blue laws are laws that restrict or prohibit certain activities from taking place on a Sunday. Such laws are remnants of the colonial days in which laws were enacted to force observance of the Christian Sabbath. The Sabbath is a day of religious observation and abstinence from work, which Christians typically observe on Sundays. While constitutional issues regarding freedom of religion and separation of church and state should prevent religious principles from governing the people, the fact remains that we sometimes see unmistakable traces of these faith-based ideals in present-day laws. For example, North Carolina law restricts the sale of alcohol on Sundays. This blog will discuss North Carolina liquor laws, focusing on the restriction of the sale of alcohol, with special focus on the sale of alcohol on Sundays.

Like all of our blogs, this blog is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a criminal defense attorney.

NC Liquor Laws (Monday through Sunday) – what can you buy, when can you buy it, and where can you buy it?

In North Carolina, you may purchase beer and wine at grocery stores. You may buy liquor only at state-run stores (the ABC store). Per North Carolina General Statute 18B-1004, it is illegal to sell alcohol between the hours of 2:00 AM and 7:00 AM. Bars are permitted to sell alcohol until 2:00 AM. It is also illegal to consume alcoholic beverages from the hours of 2:30 AM to 7:00 AM in any place that has been issued a permit under G.S. 18B-1001.

On Monday through Saturday, ABC stores sell alcohol from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM.

Sale of alcohol on Sunday and the Brunch Bill

In North Carolina, liquor stores are closed on Sundays. Stores are prohibited from selling beer or wine before noon on Sundays. However, with the passing of the 2017 “Brunch Bill,” local governments (city and county governments) are now permitted to allow stores to begin selling alcohol at 10:00 AM. Examples of local governments that have passed local ordinances permitting the sale of alcohol at 10 AM on Sundays include Charlotte, Huntersville, Cornelius, and unincorporated Mecklenburg County.

Underage drinking and fake IDs

You must be 21 to purchase or consume alcohol in North Carolina. For information on underage drinking, click here. For information on possession of fake identification, click here.

If you have been charged with a crime in North Carolina or South Carolina and are in need of a criminal defense attorney, contact us to discuss your options.


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