Alcohol Law Enforcement

Alcohol Law Enforcement is the lead enforcement agency for the state's alcoholic beverage control, lottery, and tobacco laws. As such, ALE special agents target problem ABC-licensed and illegal establishments that serve as havens for violence, drugs, gang activity, organized crime, money laundering and other criminal activity.

Alcohol Law Enforcement offers several programs and services designed to provide a number of benefits to North Carolina citizens. Whether educating industry permittees and employees through the Be A Responsible Seller program, targeting street-level crime at retail businesses, encouraging young people to make good decisions during a Keys To Life program, or working to close locations that threaten the overall quality of life for residents through the Nuisance Abatement program, ALE consistently demonstrates that providing a safe, secure place to live, work and play is a top priority.

Special agents partner with local sheriffs and police departments to spearhead enforcement operations aimed at making North Carolina communities safer. We work tirelessly and cohesively to eliminate blights related to illegal alcohol sales, drug sales, and other illicit activities that are a detriment to our communities and reduce the quality of life for our state’s citizens.

Contact ALE by Email or call 1-877-ALE-AGENT.

To send a commendation or complaint, click here.

Cops in Shops

Working cooperatively with store owners, Alcohol Law Enforcement special agents pose as clerks or customers in retail businesses to detect criminal violations. During the operation, the undercover agents communicate violations to nearby police officers who stop suspects after they have left the premises.

Sponsored by North Carolina Governor's Highway Safety Program, Cops in Shops has been a valuable tool for almost two decades. Through the combined efforts of ALE, local law enforcement, and retail merchants, ALE has made thousands of arrests during Cops in Shops operations. This program is widely supported by the general public as a resource to help keep their neighborhoods safe.


The North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement Division participates in the CALEA Law Enforcement Accreditation process. As part of the process, we provide an opportunity for public feedback via the CALEA Portal.

The purpose of this public portal is to receive comments regarding ALE's compliance with CALEA standards, engagement in the service community, delivery of public safety services, and overall candidacy for accredited status. Information will be considered in context as to its relevancy to compliance with CALEA standards of accreditation. CALEA is not an investigatory body and the public portal should not be used to submit information related to enforcement action or internal investigations.