New bill could allow NC bars to sell customers 4 drinks at once, open ABC stores on Sunday

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Big changes could soon be coming to the way North Carolina sells alcohol and how residents consume it.

House Bill 536, which cleared a state House committee Tuesday, would change current regulations preventing restaurants and bars from selling customers more than one alcoholic drink at a time.

The bill states that a person could buy up to four drinks at once. However, the rule would not apply to alcohol sold at a "stadium, athletic facility, or arena on the campus or property of a public college or university or during a sports event sponsored by a public college or university."

Bill sponsor Rep. Chuck McGrady said current laws are "nuts," even though they were put in place to prevent someone from buying a drink for a person who is underage.

"It's nuts," McGrady, a Henderson County Republican, told ABC11's newsgathering partner the News & Observer. "In my view, it's a silly sort of Prohibition-era type regulation."

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The bill would also help stop those "membership fees" bargoers have to pay. The new law would include a "bar" category in state regulations, meaning places that don't serve food, just alcohol, would no longer have to charge guests.

Another major change proposed by the bill would be the opening of ABC stores on Sundays. If management chooses, the store would be able to be open between noon and 5 p.m.

A poll taken by Elon University in Feb. found that 52 percent of participants want ABC stores to remain closed on Sundays.

The full bill can be read online.
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