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View NCGA Bill Details2017-2018 Session
House Bill 944 (Public) Filed Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Intro. by Boles, Davis.

Status: Serial Referral To Finance Added (House Action) (May 22 2018)

SOG comments (1):

Identical bill

Identical to S 714, filed May 16, 2018.

H 944

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: May 16 2018 - View 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. Increases the maximum fine the Commission may impose from $500 to $1,350 for a first violation, from $750 to $2,100 for a second violation, and from $1,000 to $2,750 for a third violation. Also expands the actions available to the Commission to include imposing conditions on the operation hours of the permittee’s business. Finally, in cases in which the Commission is entitled to suspend or revoke a permit, increases the maximum penalty amount the Commission may accept in compromise instead of revocation or in addition to suspension from $5,000 to $10,000. Effective October 1, 2018.

    Amends GS 18B-900, which sets out the qualifications for ABC permittees. Currently, to be eligible to receive and hold an ABC permit, a person must be at least 21 years old, unless the person is a manager of a business selling only malt beverages and unfortified wine and is at least 19 years old. Makes changes to this qualification to now require a person to be at least 21 years old, unless the person is an owner of a business seeking to sell alcoholic beverages and is at least 25 years old. Under the same law, for an ABC permit to be issued to and held for a business, each of the specified persons associated with that business must meet the eight qualifications required for ABC permittees, including the age requirement as amended above. Currently, this includes each manager and any member with a 25% or greater interest in a limited liability company, and each officer, director, and owner of 25% or more of the stock of a corporation. Makes changes to instead require each manager and any member with a 51% or greater interest in a limited liability company to meet the permittee qualifications, and if any manager or member does not hold 51% individually, then 51% of all ownership must meet the qualifications. Makes similar changes to require each officer, director, and owner of 51% or more of the stock of a corporation to meet the permittee qualifications, and if any officer, director or owner does not hold 51% individually then 51% of the ownership of the stock of a corporation must meet the qualifications. Makes no changes to the existing exception from the age requirement for officers, directors, or stockholders who are not managers or otherwise responsible for the day-to-day operation of the business. Applies to new permits issued on or after the date the act becomes law.

    Makes technical changes to GS 18B-901, concerning the issuance of ABC permits.

    Amends GS 18B-904(e), which sets out miscellaneous provisions relating to situations where a business or location is no longer suitable for an ABC permit. Provides that the Commission can suspend or revoke a permit issued by it if an administrative law judge (ALJ) finds that the location occupied by the permittee is no longer a suitable place to hold ABC permits or that the operation of the business with an ABC permit at that location is detrimental to the neighborhood (previously, authorized the Commission to suspend or revoke a permit issued by it, if after compliance with the provisions of GS Chapter 150B (Administrative Procedure Act/APA), the Commission found the business or location no longer suitable as described). Further provides that, after the Commission has issued an order to summarily suspend or revoke a permit due to a business not operating for the activity authorized by the permit within six months of issuance, the permittee can make a written request for a hearing on the matter to the Office of Administrative Hearings (was, the Commission) within 30 days after receipt of notice of the order. Requires the ALJ to issue an order to affirm, reverse, or modify the Commission’s previous action when a hearing is requested (previously, the Commission was required to affirm, reverse, or modify its previous action after compliance with the APA when a hearing was requested). Additionally, requires the Commission to immediately suspend permits issued by it for a period of 30 days if (1) ALE agents, local ABC Board officers, or local law enforcement agencies (previously, only ALE agents or local ABC Board officers) provide advance notice to the Commission Legal Division staff of an ongoing undercover operation and (2) upon execution of the search warrant resulting from the undercover operation, five or more persons are criminally charged with violations of gambling, disorderly conduct, prostitution, controlled substance, or felony criminal counterfeit trademark laws.

    Amends GS 18B-1000, which sets out defined terms applicable to GS Chapter 18B (Regulation of Alcoholic Beverages). Currently, private club is defined as an establishment that is organized and operated solely for a social, recreational, patriotic, or fraternal purpose and that is not open to the general public, but is open only to members of the organization and their bona fide guests. The current definition also prohibits any organization that discriminates in the selection of its membership on the basis of religion, except for bona fide religious organizations, from being eligible to receive any ABC permits. Deletes the current definition entirely, and instead defines the term to mean an establishment that qualifies as a 501(c) business under the Internal Revenue Code and has been in operation for a minimum of 12 months prior to application for an ABC permit. Adds that this new definition does not apply to any private club permits in place on April 1, 2018. Applies to new permits issued on or after the date the act becomes law.