NC can create social districts with new bill updating alcohol laws

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Alcohol laws in NC just got an update — and one regulation is changing for the first time since the early 1900s. Gov. Roy Cooper signed House Bill 890 into law last month, and it’s an all-encompassing effort to revamp drinking laws

One major change includes allowing cities + counties to create “social districts” — a defined outdoor area where people can consume alcoholic beverages sold by designated establishments. 

We’re not quite Bourbon Street, yetthe creation of these social districts comes with rules. Here’s a few:

  • The district has to be clearly defined with signs posted to indicate what area is included, as well as the days + times that alcohol can be consumed. 
  • The city or county will create management + maintenance plans and post them on their website, including a rendering of the boundaries of the district.
  • Drink containers must identify the establishment where the beverage was purchased, display a logo or mark unique to the social district, cannot hold more than 16 ounces, and must include a statement reading “Drink Responsibly – Be 21.” 

Included in the bill was also a change that allows distilleries to sell bottled liquor on Sundays between the hours of 12-9 p.m.

NC was the first state to enact Prohibition in 1908 — so when distilleries sold liquor on Sun., Oct. 3, it was the first time that had legally happened in over a century. 

Sports fans, there’s one for you too. Attendees can now buy 2 alcoholic beverages at a time in college stadiums and sporting arenas. Check out our NC State football preview before purchasing your next tickets. 

That’s not all, folks — you can place ABC store orders online for pick up, and ABC stores can also now sell refrigerated beverages.

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