North Carolina’s liquor laws could be getting an overhaul

NORTH CAROLINA — North Carolina state leaders are working to overhaul North Carolina’s liquor laws.

The updated ABC omnibus bill cleared the House Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee in a unanimous vote this past week.

Happy hours could become legal in North Carolina. House members rolled out a rewrite to the state’s alcohol laws back in June that would permit restaurants and bars offer discounts and drink specials, effectively legalizing happy hours.

To-go cocktails like those allowed during the pandemic could come back. That same rewrite would restore the pandemic-era rule that allowed restaurants to sell alcoholic drinks with to-go orders.

The executive order signed by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper let restaurants and bars sell mixed drinks for takeout and delivery. Cooper’s order authorized the North Carolina ABC Commission to “permit the delivery or carry-out of mixed beverages as an alternative to on-site consumption.”

The measure aims to let ABC stores open on Sundays and on some federal holidays -- New Year’s Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day. As it stands now, you can only buy liquor on Sundays if you buy it directly from a local distiller.

The bill would also allow ABC stores to sell gift cards and merchandise, and let stores charge more for gift boxes that come out around the holidays. Currently, they can only sell liquor in stores.

The bill is expected to run through two more house committees before it goes to the floor for a full vote.

(WATCH BELOW: North Carolina alcohol sales reveal who spends more on booze: Charlotte or Raleigh?)