Liquor law change contemplated for DNC

Posted May 30, 2012
Updated May 31, 2012

— State lawmakers are contemplating a bill to ensure the Democratic National Convention doesn't run dry this September.

Under current state law, ABC stores across the state must be closed on Labor Day, the day before the DNC is officially due to start. ABC stores and warehouses are also closed on Sundays.

Government*-run liquor stores are the only source for distilled spirits like gin and vodka in North Carolina. 

That timing creates a bit of logistical headache for bars and restaurants. Thirsty crowds will be heading out to Labor Day festivities over the weekend and some of those coming in town for the DNC will arrive early for pre-meeting and events. 

Bars and restaurants could see their supplies running low without being able to restock until Tuesday, when they'll be handling a rush of convention business. 

"The restaurants are going to be selling an awful lot of liquor on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the Democrats coming into town," said Rep. Bill Brawley, R-Mecklenburg. 

Brawley is a cosponsor of H 1121, a bill that would allow ABC stores in Mecklenburg County remain open on Labor Day. The bill would only change the law for 2012 and wouldn't apply elsewhere in the state.

"Part of the way it was explained to me was that most restaurants would not have sufficient secure storage space to store enough liquor over the weekend," Brawley said.

The bill is sponsored by other Charlotte-area representatives and is expected to move with little controversy, Brawley said. 


*An earlier version of this post referred to "state-run" liquor stores. While the state ABC Commission regulates the ABC system and serves as a quasi-wholesaler, ABC stores themselves are run by independent units of local government. 


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  • turkeydance May 31, 2012

    it's been done before. Charlotte can sell spirits before 1PM
    on Sunday (Panthers games).

  • mmercier0921 May 31, 2012

    Good drunks know where the liquor stores are, and when they are open or closed.

    Alcohol predates fire.

  • rroadrunner99 May 30, 2012

    Either change the law state wide or not at all. It's discrimnatory to pick one County out of 100 to change the law in. I have never seen it changed in other counties for special function's before.

  • 23tony May 30, 2012

    So the DNC gets special treatment that us peon citizens aren't given. Nice.

    This should not be passed. No special treatment - change the law for EVERYONE or don't change it. Don't make special exceptions.

  • AlbertEinstein May 30, 2012

    The whole concept that "We the People" are not responsible enough to properly purchase booze is childish. I say remove all the restrictions and let private business (for example, grocery stores) sell the stuff. Many other states have done this with far fewer issues that we have to go through.

  • ljohnson247 May 30, 2012

    Good way to run a Convention - on cloud 9