During the Legislative session of 1935, it became apparent that many sections of the State were dissatisfied with North Carolina’s then existing prohibition law known as the Turlington Act.
Sensing a widespread demand for some change in the law, the 1935 Legislature, in its closing days, authorized the Governor to appoint a commission to study the question of control of alcoholic beverages and to make a report to the 1937 General Assembly.
After repeal of the Federal Prohibition Act (Eighteenth Amendment), South Carolina, bordering North Carolina on the south for 324 miles, had legalized the sale of liquor under what is known as the State Licensing system. Virginia, bounding North Carolina on the north for 312 miles had also legalized the sale of liquor under what was known as the State Monopoly system. Thus, had North Carolina had no control stores at all, South Carolina and Virginia would have provided stores where liquor could be purchased legally within fifty miles of approximately two-thirds of the population of North Carolina. Only a small percentage of the people of North Carolina, probably fewer than fifteen percent, were living more than fifty miles from a store in which whiskey could be purchased legally. It became obvious to many people that effective prohibition of alcoholic beverages in North Carolina was a thing of the past.
It was felt that the Monopoly system more nearly tended to eliminate liquor control from politics and to emphasize social welfare rather than revenue or profits. Local ABC Boards were authorized by the 1937 Control Act. Wayne County held a referendum on April 4, 1964; 5,859 residents voted for the establishment of a local ABC Board, 5,152 residents voted against the bill. Wayne County had its first retail sales on 15 June, 1964. Today, the Wayne County Alcoholic Beverage Control Board operates a warehouse and six ABC stores in Wayne County. All of our ABC Stores are self-service type stores and boast a wide variety of brands for our customers to choose from.