Underage Drinking

North Carolina

The policy topics, below, address statues and regulations related to underage drinking and access to alcohol.

Internal possession is prohibited with NO EXCEPTIONS.

Purchase is prohibited and there is NO ALLOWANCE for youth purchase for law enforcement purposes.

  • Beer: 18 for both servers and bartenders
  • Wine: 18 for both servers and bartenders
  • Spirits: 18 for servers and 21 for bartenders
  • Beer: Not Specified
  • Wine: Not Specified
  • Spirits: 18

Provision(s) targeting minors:

  • Use of a false ID to obtain alcohol is a criminal offense
  • No driver's license suspension procedure

Provision(s) targeting suppliers:

  • It is a criminal offense to lend, transfer, or sell a false ID

Provision(s) targeting retailers:

  • State provides incentives to retailers who use electronic scanners that read birthdate and other information digitally encoded on valid identification cards
  • Licenses for drivers under age 21 are easily distinguishable from those for drivers age 21 and older
  • Retailers are permitted to seize apparently false IDs
  • Specific affirmative defense - the retailer inspected the false ID and came to a reasonable conclusion based on its appearance that it was valid

BAC limit: 0.00 - any detectable alcohol in the blood is per se (conclusive) evidence of a violation.

Applies to drivers under age 21.

Keg definition: 7.75 or more gallons

Prohibited:

  • possessing an unregistered, unlabeled keg - max. fine/jail: Discretionary fine / 45 days

Purchaser information collected:

  • purchaser's name and address
  • verified by a government-issued ID
  • address where keg will be consumed

Warning information to purchaser: active – purchaser action required (e.g., signature)

Deposit: not required

Provisions do not specifically address disposable kegs

Type(s) of violation leading to driver's license suspension, revocation, or denial:

  • Underage purchase

Use/lose penalties apply to minors under age 21

Authority to impose driver's license sanction

  • mandatory

Length of suspension/revocation: 365 days

No State-imposed liability for hosting underage drinking parties.