Durham County Alcoholic Beverage Control Board



Purchase Policies

Persons under the age of 21 in our stores
It is the policy of the Durham County ABC Board to prohibit anyone 18, 19, or 20 years of age from entering our stores. Children under the age of 18 may enter our stores, as long as they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Acceptable Forms of ID
It is the responsibility of the customer to prove that they are 21 years of age. The forms of ID acceptable in Durham County ABC Stores include:

  • A valid driver’s license
  • A valid ID card
  • A valid passport
  • A valid U.S. Military ID

Group ID Policy
It is the policy of the Durham County ABC Board to immediately check the ID of any young person, as soon as they enter our store. An entire group of people can be refused if any member of the group is underage or unable to produce an acceptable form of ID.

Transportation Permits
In accordance with North Carolina ABC laws, a customer may only purchase up to eight (8) liters of alcohol (distilled spirits) from our stores without a transportation permit. With a transportation permit, the customer may purchase up to forty (40) liters of alcohol and subsequently transport their purchase within the State of North Carolina. A transportation permit is issued free of charge at the store, and is valid until 9:30 p.m. on the date it is issued.

If you need a transportation permit to transport more than eight liters of alcohol after 9:30p.m. of the day of the original purchase, you can obtain an additional permit by returning to one of our stores and advising us how much you need to relocate. Our sales associates are unable to provide “blank” permits to patrons.

Transportation permits are also available (and necessary) when purchasing large quantities of wine. The quantity limits for fortified wine are the same as the aforementioned limits described for alcohol (distilled spirits). However, a customer may purchase up to twenty (20) liters of unfortified wines without a transportation permit and a maximum of 100 liters with a transportation permit. Customers planning to purchase large quantities of wine may obtain a permit from an ABC store at no charge.

Note: A permit is not required for the purchase of beer. However, a person cannot legally purchase more than 80 liters of beer per transaction, except in kegs.

For additional statutory information on ABC Board policies, please see the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.


Frequently Asked Questions – Shopping

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Q: How many local ABC stores are there?
A: Durham County has 8 retail stores located around the county for your convenience. Currently there are over 400 local ABC stores in North Carolina, all carrying a variety of products, including special gift packages and mixers.

Q: What are the acceptable forms of payment?
A: We accept cash, MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover. Debit cards associated with MasterCard and Visa are also accepted.

Q: What are the normal hours of operation?
A: All ABC stores are obligated to open no earlier than 9 am and close no later than 9 pm. It is important to note, however, that some stores operate on reduced hours within the 9 am – 9 pm time-frame.

Q: Where can I find the phone number for a specific ABC store?
A: The Durham ABC Board Administrative Office answers all questions pertaining to its products and stores. Feel free to contact us. For your information, you’ll find the Durham ABC Board contact information listed on our Contact page.

Q: Do the local ABC stores operate on Sunday and holidays?
A: ABC stores are under legal obligation to remain closed on Sundays and specific holidays, and no ABC store employee shall sell alcoholic beverages on these days. Holidays include New Year’s Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, or Christmas Day. A local board may otherwise determine the days on which its stores shall be closed.

Q: Can local ABC stores have “sales” and offer spirituous liquor at discount or below the next ABC store prices?
A: No. The retail price of spirituous liquor sold in North Carolina ABC stores shall be uniform throughout the state. A Price Book is published and distributed every February, May, August and November, and all stores are required to use the established prices. There are monthly discounts on selected items. In addition, we periodically discontinue brands, and offer these items at discounted prices. Check your nearest Durham County ABC Store for current specials.

Q: Can spirituous liquor be sold in grocery stores and other food marts?
A: In North Carolina, spirituous liquor may be sold only in local ABC stores operated by the local ABC Board.

Q: What if you don’t stock a product I would like to purchase?
A: If the product is listed in the North Carolina Price Book and you feel you will purchase it on a regular basis, then we will consider stocking the product on our shelves. If it is not listed in the Price Book, we can look outside of North Carolina for what you want. This is what is called a “special order.” Special orders come by the case, and can be placed when payment is made in advance. You can expect 6-8 weeks for delivery, depending on the product and its place of origin. You can request a special order at any of your local ABC Stores.

Q: May I return or exchange a product?
A: No, the Durham County ABC Board policy offers no returns, exchanges or refunds once the product has left the store, unless it is tainted or spoiled. In this case, we will accept the nearly full container and provide you with a replacement.

Q: What are the top selling brands?
A: Popular Brands include: Hennessy, Tito’s, Smirnoff, Grey Goose, Jack Daniels, Crown Royal.

Q: When do I need a special permit to make purchases at an ABC store?
A: All permits are handled at the ABC Commisions office, based in Raleigh. For more information, visit the permits page included in the North Carolina ABC Commission website.

Q: What does the Durham County ABC Board do with excess cardboard boxes?
A: The Durham County ABC Board offers its empty boxes to the public, based on a first come first served basis. Check with the store nearest you for the availability of boxes.


Frequently Asked Questions – ABC Boards

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Q: What does ABC mean?
A: Alcoholic Beverage Control

Q: What is a local ABC Board?
A: A local board consists of a Chairman and from two to six members, depending on size, appointed by their city, town or county governing authority. The Durham County ABC Board is composed of a chairman and 4 members. See who they are on the Board Members page.

Q: Are the local ABC Boards part of the ABC Commission?
A: No. In North Carolina ABC boards are local political subdivisions of the State. They operate as separate entities establishing their own policies and procedures.

Q: Does the ABC Commission have authority over the local ABC Boards?
A: Yes. However, the local ABC Board retains authority to set policy and adopt rules so long as it conforms to ABC laws and Commission rules.

Q: Are you a state employee (agency) or a county employee?
A: Neither. We are employees of the Durham County ABC Board (more details and distinctions are provided in the North Carolina ABC Commission website). However, the revenue, prices and various regulations are managed by the State, in addition to authorizing County Commissioners to make board member appointments.

Q: How many local ABC Boards are there?

A: Currently there are 166 ABC Boards. In some cases ABC Boards are organized as city-approved ABC Boards, instead of operating as a county-wide system.

Q: What is the difference between the local ABC Board and the local ABC store?
A: The local ABC Board provides management of the local ABC store(s) that is within its operating jurisdiction.

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