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ABC Law Enforcement Agencies announce COVID-19 education and enforcement

Mecklenburg County Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board announced the creation of a joint cooperative with the CMPD ABC Unit.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mecklenburg County ABC Law Enforcement Agencies announced on Saturday a joint cooperative with CMPD ABC unit that will create COVID-19 education and enforcement.

ABC announced that with support from both the Mecklenburg County Health Department and State’s NC ALE division, the agencies will work together to coordinate efforts.

They announced the following goals the agencies will follow:

  • Clearly delineate coordination and communication on matters of enforcement between the three units 
  • Identify needed points of clarity, and from whom
  • Identify any key messages for communication to bar/restaurant owner-operators and the general public 

The agencies set out seven key agreements: 

  1. ABC agencies want to build public trust with the establishments and community members. 
  2. Each ABC agency has designated a representative to work together on these enforcement matters. 
  3. The ABC agencies aim to emphasize the importance of social distancing, and are focusing on the overcrowding of establishments presenting a COVID-19 risk, not to penalize anyone but to keep crowds from forming. 
  4. The two local ABC enforcing agencies are working together to educate and enforce the NC regulations, Governor Cooper’s executive orders, and the Mecklenburg County joint proclamation. 
  5. The local ABC enforcement agencies will be focused on "repeat problem locations" identified by public concerns. 
  6. The ABC agencies will refer to Governor Cooper’s order for the guidance for education purposes
  7. When an ABC permit holder has been identified in violation of the ordinances, an ABC officer will first educate the business on the ordinances and inform them on what they're doing out of compliance. Then, that information will be shared between Mecklenburg County ABC Board Law Enforcement, ALE and CMPD ABC units. 

The entire release can be found below:

ABC law enforcement agencies are not authorized to close down establishments, according to the release. However, if the business fails to adhere to ordinance requirements, a warning, violation or citation could potentially be issued for non-compliance. 

“We recently heard from some of our ABC permittees who are frustrated with the devastating impact to their business and worker’s livelihoods when non-compliant establishments require authorities to impose more restrictive measures that further compound business hardships on those who are in compliance," Kevin Stone, ABC Law Enforcement Chief, said in a statement. "We are now going to take a stronger enforcement stance to support the law abiding businesses so they can open their doors sooner. Our goal is to partner with permitted establishments to ensure responsible selling that reduces public health and safety risks in our community.” 

The agencies want to emphasize to the public that they also play an equally important role in reducing COVID-19 by adhering to the guidelines to ensure these establishments stay open.

“The ordinances are in [effect] and we all have a responsibility to honor the terms of the ordinances," Chief Executive Officer at Mecklenburg County Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, Keva Walton, said. "In addition to these ABC officer’s joint cooperative work with permit holders, each individual customer can and should participate in helping business owners not be in violation by complying with protocols and guidelines established to prevent the spread of COVD-19."

Mecklenburg County Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board said its mission is to manage the sale of distilled spirits by promoting excellence in customer service, fiscal responsibility, operational effectiveness, compliance with laws that govern the sale and use of alcoholic beverages, and creating community partnerships to improve public health and safety. 

For more information, you can visit www.meckabc.com

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