Alamance County

Action Item
No Action Taken
Mar 2, 2020 9:00 AM

Liquor By The Drink Presentation


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Issue/Action Requested

The Alamance County Board of Commissioners requested that County Attorney Clyde Albright present information about the options the Board of Commissioners has pertaining to legalizing the sale of liquor in Alamance County. 

Meeting History

Mar 2, 2020 9:00 AM  Alamance County Board of Commissioners Regular Meeting

County Attorney Albright said he had sent a brief history to the Board on alcohol in North Carolina that went back to prohibition. He continued that there were 168 local Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC) systems and 430 liquor stores throughout North Carolina. He said the General Assembly determined last year that there were too many ABC systems and a law was passed that prohibited the creation of any new ABC Boards. Mr. Albright said that it also required that if there was going to be liquor by the drink in a county, that county would have to merge with an existing ABC Board. He said the merger with an existing ABC Board would have to be completed and the details negotiated and distributed to the voters before it could go on a ballot. He said it was not as straight-forward as he initially thought especially since that new law was passed.

Commissioner Lashley said the brought this up because people in the county should have the same rights as people in the city. He stated that he was not in favor of liquor by the drink but the people deserved to be treated fair.

Commissioner Sutton said alcohol was the biggest drug in the United States. He said that for years he said that he would never support liquor by the drink. He said that bar owners want the money and they serve beer that was almost double the alcohol content. Commissioner Sutton said that Commissioners and leaders had to take a stand on some things. He advised that he was for moral, ethical implementation of mores in this county and he did not think the mores of this county went down the line of liquor by the drink. He said that he would not support a referendum.

Vice Chair Carter said he had struggled with this since it was brought up. He spoke that he had not received any positive comments. He shared a past story of a fatal accident involving a drunk driver. He agreed with Commissioner Sutton that he did not need to go on the ballot.

Commissioner Boswell commented that it would take a lot of county resources to prepare this for a ballot. He said there were a lot of other pertinent issues that they needed to deal with.

Chair Galey agreed with Commissioner Boswell. She said they needed more information about the process when the subject came up. She said that her personal approach to making policy decisions was to weigh the cost and the benefits. Chair Galey saw this as a cost to the county to go through the process without knowing whether the voters were going to approve it. She said she had received negative feedback and agreed with Commissioner Boswell that the county had other things to focus on with staff time right now. She commended Commissioner Lashley for bringing this issue up.