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 with the Cops In Shops program, 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 sheriff's and police departments to spearhead enforcement operations aimed at making North Carolina communities safer. Blights on the community -- such as a drug house, open air drug sales in a neighborhood and illegal alcoholic beverage sales locations -- are a detriment to our neighborhoods and reduce the quality of life of our state's citizens.
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.