Historical Overview

On December 5, 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Presidential Proclamation 2,065, officially repealing the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that established Prohibition in the United States. Prohibition was repealed by the Twenty-first Amendment, granting each state the power to regulate the trafficking of alcoholic beverages within its borders. 

In 1934, New York State enacted Chapter 478, known as the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, creating the State Liquor Authority and the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The State Liquor Authority’s first Annual Report noted that Chapter 478 was enacted by the Legislature to provide for “the protection, health, welfare and safety of the people of the State.” These principles are the core of the Authority's mission to this day.

The responsibilities of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control include:

  • Reviewing applications;
  • Issuing licenses and permits for the manufacture, wholesale distribution and retail sale of all alcoholic beverages;
  • Regulating trade and credit practices related to the sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages at wholesale and retail;
  • Inspecting premises where alcoholic beverages are manufactured or sold;
  • Investigating licensees in connection with violations of the ABC Law, and working with local law enforcement to ensure compliance with the Law; and
  • Conducting disciplinary proceedings and hearings, and revoking, canceling or suspending for cause any license or permit, and/or imposing monetary penalties where appropriate.