In recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month, ALE special agents conducted statewide educational outreach programs along with an enforcement operation. On April 21, 2023, ALE special agents charged 112 people with 261 charges for alcohol, drugs, and firearms. Across the state, ALE special agents worked collectively to reduce alcohol related crimes in and around ABC-licensed and unlicensed illegal businesses.
In the weeks leading up to the operation, as a part of Alcohol Awareness Month, ALE special agents conducted 21 educational programs to 353 owners and employees of ABC-licensed businesses across the state. The educational outreach programs included Be A Responsible Seller/Server (B.A.R.S.) and Stop Alcohol Violence through employee Education (S.A.V.E.). These trainings covered common ABC laws, rules, and regulations, responsible alcoholic beverage sales, recognizing fake or fraudulent identifications, and best practices for deterring criminal activity and making businesses safe for both patrons and employees.
“Alcohol is a contributing factor in many crimes, including violence and destructive behaviors.” said Bryan House, Director of the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement Division. “ALE special agents focus enforcement efforts to make our communities safer and we value the importance of partnering with and educating businesses on responsible alcohol sales to make a greater impact on this effort.”
Throughout the state on Friday, special agents seized various types of controlled substances, twenty-two fraudulent identifications, one illegal distillery, and twelve firearms, one of which was stolen. Of the 261 charges, 135 were alcoholic beverage-related charges, 40 underage alcohol-related charges, 96 were drug-related charges and 30 of the charges were felonies.
During this operation, 17 ABC-permitted businesses were found to be in violation of state laws and regulations. ALE special agents will submit violation reports to the ABC Commission documenting the criminal and regulatory violations at these businesses, which could result in fines, suspensions, or revocations of ABC permits.
Cities involved in the operation included Asheville, Hendersonville, Flat Rock, Arden, Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, Fayetteville, Hope Mills, Lumberton, Greensboro, Boone, Rocky Mount, and Henderson.
ALE’s 111 specially trained agents have the authority to arrest and take investigatory action throughout North Carolina. Their primary responsibility is the enforcement of Alcoholic Beverage Control, tobacco, state lottery and gambling laws.