Bill Summary for S 11 (2019-2020)

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Summary date: 

Jan 31 2019

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
Senate Bill 11 (Public) Filed Thursday, January 31, 2019
Intro. by Wells.

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Bill summary

Amends GS 18B-104, which sets out the actions the ABC Commission (Commission) may take against a permittee for any violation of the ABC laws. Sunsets the period within which a permittee may be fined the maximum specified amounts for second and third violations to within three years of the first violation. Adds increased maximum fines that can be levied against permittees for violations involving acts of violence, controlled substances, or prostitution occurring on the licensed premises. Makes conforming changes. Adds new authority for the Commission to accept a penalty of up to $10,000 from the permittee in any egregious case in which there are two or more violations within three years in which the Commission is entitled to suspend or revoke a permit if: (1) the violations involve acts of violence occurring on the premises or (2) the permittee or the permittee’s agent or employee knowingly allow any violation of the controlled substances or prostitution statutes on the licensed premises. Also expands the actions available to the Commission in egregious cases to include imposing conditions on the operation hours of the permittee’s business. Finally, prohibits the Commission from both accepting a compromise and revoking a permit, while allowing accepting a compromise and suspending the permit in the same case. Effective October 1, 2019.

Amends GS 18B-900, which sets out the requirements for ABC permit holders. Creates a bright line rule requiring permit holders to be 21 years old, eliminating the exception whereby 19-year-olds may be permit holders if they are business managers. Expands the requirements for a business to be issued an ABC permit, requiring the following persons to meet the statutory requirements: (1) the manager of an establishment operated by a corporation (previously, only managers of establishments operated by a corporation other than an establishment with only off-premises malt beverage, off-premises unfortified wine, or off-premises fortified wine permits) and (2) any manager or person otherwise responsible for the day-to-day operation of the business if none of the identified persons otherwise hold that role. Makes further technical changes. Makes language gender-neutral.

Makes organizational and technical changes to GS 18B-901(c) regarding the factors the Commission is to consider in determining whether an applicant or the business location are suitable to hold an ABC permit. 

Modifies GS 18B-904(e), authorizing the Commission to commence a contested case under GS Chapter 150B for the suspension or revocation of a permit issued by it after finding the location occupied by the permittee is no longer suitable or the operation of the business with an ABC permit at that location is detrimental to the neighborhood (currently, allows the Commission to suspend or revoke a permit after compliance with the provisions of GS Chapter 150B). Similarly, authorizes the Commission to commence a contested case under GS Chapter 150B for the suspension or revocation of a permit issued by it after finding evidence that the permittee or the permittee’s employee has been found responsible for two or more violations on separate dates of knowingly allowing a violation of the gambling, disorderly conduct, prostitution, controlled substance, or felony criminal counterfeit trademarks laws statutorily prohibited, at a single ABC licensed premises within a 12-month period (currently, allows the Commission to suspend or revoke a permit after compliance with the provisions of GS 150B and without finding mitigating evidence or circumstances, notwithstanding GS 18B-906). Makes changes to the administrative procedure that must be followed when suspending or revoking a permit where the permittee is found to be in violation of GS 18B-309(c) concerning records of alcoholic beverage sales in Urban Redevelopment Areas, now permitting a permittee to commence a contested case under GS Chapter 150B for a reversal or modification of the order suspending or revoking the permit (after prior notice of the area’s designation and the requirements the permittee must abide by in GS 18B-309(c)) within 30 days of receipt of the Commission’s order (currently, allows the permittee to make written request to the Commission for a hearing within 30 days of receipt of the order, and after compliance with the provisions of GS 150B, requires the Commission to affirm, reverse, or modify its previous actions). Finally, mandates that the Commission summarily suspend or revoke permits issued by it, by order and without prior hearing (previously, immediately suspend permits), where ALE agents, local ABC Board officers, or local law enforcement agencies (previously, local law enforcement agencies not included) provided advance notice to the Commission Legal Division staff of the ongoing undercover operation and upon execution of a search warrant resulting from the operation, five or more persons are criminally charged with the specified violations. Adds new requirement for the Commission to notify all interested parties of the order and reasoning, specifies the order is effective until modified or vacated, and permits the permittee to commence a contested case under GS Chapter 150B for a reversal or modification of the order within 30 days of receipt of the Commission’s order.

Amends GS 18B-1000, containing the definitions to be used in GS Chapter 18B, as follows. Amends the definition of private club so it means an establishment that qualifies under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended, that has been in operation for a minimum of 12 months before applying for an ABC permit. Adds and defines the term private bar as an establishment that is organized and operated as a for-profit entity that is open only to members of the organization and their guests for the purpose of allowing its members and their guests to socialize and engage in recreation. Makes conforming changes to GS 18B-1001 (by adding private bars to those entities that may be issued an on-premises malt beverage permit, an on-premises unfortified wine permit, an on-premises fortified wine permit, a brown-bagging permit, a special occasion permit, and a mixed beverages permit). Amends GS 130A-248, concerning sanitation of establishments serving food or drink, by excluding public bars from regulation under Article 8 (Sanitation) of GS Chapter 130A. Amends GS 130A-250 by exempting private bars from Article 8, Part 6, concerning Regulation of Food and Lodging Facilities). Makes a conforming change to GS 130A-247 (by adding the term private bar to those defined for use in Article 8, Part 6). Permits issued to private clubs prior to the effective date of this act are grandfathered and may remain in effect and eligible for renewal as a private bar or a private club, as applicable, notwithstanding Section 5 of this act.