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Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control
Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control
 
  History of the Division  
 

The Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (Division of ABC or ABC) is responsible for regulating the commerce of alcoholic beverages within the State of New Jersey. The 21st amendment to the United States Constitution repealed prohibition and gave each state the right to determine whether to allow the sale of alcoholic beverages, and, if so, how to regulate them. As soon as the amendment was adopted in 1933, New Jersey enacted its Alcoholic Beverage Control Law. Through that law, a Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control was established under a Commissioner. In the late 1940's after New Jersey's 1947 Constitution was adopted, some departments were consolidated and the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control was absorbed into, and became a division of, the Department of Law and Public Safety under the New Jersey Attorney General.

 
 

The Division of ABC regulates the manufacture, distribution, sale and transportation of all alcoholic beverages within the State of New Jersey. The Division's statutory mandate provides that its mission is to regulate and control the alcoholic beverage industry in order to foster moderation and responsibility in the use and consumption of alcoholic beverages, to protect the citizens of the State by assuring lawful, proper and fair trade practices, and to maintain the stability of the industry. A person must obtain a retail alcoholic beverage license in New Jersey to legally sell alcoholic beverages to another person. Retail licenses are issued by the municipal authority in which the business is located. Once a license transfer or renewal is approved by municipal resolution, it is sent to the Division of ABC where the information is processed and becomes the official record of license ownership. Retail licenses are not issued by the State ABC.

 
 

The Division of ABC is responsible for issuing and renewing manufacturing, wholesale (state licenses) and transportation licenses in addition to a variety of permits.

 
  To accomplish its statutory mission, the Division of ABC is headed by a Director who oversees four Bureaus: Counsel to the Director, Licensing, Enforcement and Investigations.  
   
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