Board History/Organization



During the Legislative session of 1935, it became apparent that many sections of the State were dissatisfied with North Carolina’s then existing prohibition law known as the Turlington Act.


Sensing a widespread demand for some change in the law, the 1935 Legislature, in its closing days, authorized the Governor to appoint a commission to study the question of control of alcoholic beverages and to make a report to the 1937 General Assembly.


After repeal of the Federal Prohibition Act (Eighteenth Amendment), South Carolina, bordering North Carolina on the south for 324 miles, had legalized the sale of liquor under what is known as the State Licensing system.  Virginia, bounding North Carolina on the north for 312 miles had also legalized the sale of liquor under what was known as the State Monopoly system.  Thus, had North Carolina had no control stores at all, South Carolina and Virginia would have provided stores where liquor could be purchased legally within fifty miles of approximately two-thirds of the population of North Carolina.  Only a small percentage of the people of North Carolina, probably fewer than fifteen percent, were living more than fifty miles from a store in which whiskey could be purchased legally.  It became obvious to many people that effective prohibition of alcoholic beverages in North Carolina was a thing of the past.


It was felt that the Monopoly system more nearly tended to eliminate liquor control from politics and to emphasize social welfare rather than revenue or profits.  Local ABC Boards were authorized by the 1937 Control Act.  Wayne County held a referendum on April 4, 1964;  5,859 residents voted for the establishment of a local ABC Board, 5,152 residents voted against the bill.  Wayne County had its first retail sales on 15 June, 1964.  Today, the Wayne County Alcoholic Beverage Control Board operates a warehouse and six ABC stores in Wayne County. All of our ABC Stores are self-service type stores and boast a wide variety of brands for our customers to choose from.


    The Wayne County ABC Board is comprised of five board members appointed by the Wayne County Board of Commissioners. Persons are appointed to serve on the Wayne County ABC Board for terms of three years and can serve for three terms. The Wayne County ABC Board employs a full-time General Manager who oversees the day to day operations of the ABC Board. The Wayne County ABC Board meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 12:00pm.


    Chapter 18-B of the North Carolina General Statutes is intended to establish a uniform system of control over the sale, purchase, transportation, manufacture, consumption, and possession of alcoholic beverages in our state, and to provide procedures to insure the proper administration of the ABC laws under a uniform system throughout North Carolina. Also, Title 4, Chapter 2 of the North Carolina Administrative Code provides additional regulations and control of alcoholic beverages to serve the public welfare. It is the objective of the North Carolina ABC Commission and the Wayne County ABC Board to conform to that purpose at all times.

    The Wayne County A B C Board has the authority, by law, to buy, sell, transport, and possess alcoholic beverages as necessary for the operation of its ABC stores. In addition, the ABC Board adopts its own policies and procedures, determines the opening and closing hours of its stores, provides for management of each store in Wayne County, and ensures the distribution of its profits, all in accordance with the rules of the North Carolina ABC Commission.


North Carolina General Statute Chapter 18-B requires that an ABC Board expend at least 5% of its profits for ABC law enforcement.  Each board has an option to hire an ABC Law Enforcement Officer or contract for ABC Law Enforcement with a local law enforcement agency. Wayne County ABC Board has hired a ABC officer for its ABC law enforcement needs. 

Joseph Sadler is the assigned ABC Law Enforcement Officer for the Wayne County ABC Board.