State of California California Department of Consumer Affairs

Alcoholic Beverage Control (Department of)

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The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has the exclusive power to license and discipline persons and businesses who manufacture, import, distribute, and sell alcoholic beverages in California. Licensed outlets comprise about seven percent of the State's one million businesses. ABC accepts, investigates, and processes applications for licenses including permanent licenses and temporary "special event permits" issued to non-profit organizations. Sworn ABC staff members investigate complaints involving ABC licensees. Violations by licensees may result in arrests, and/or suspension or revocation of the ABC license. ABC also has many special programs that address alcohol-related crime, prevention, and education.

Complaints that fall under ABC's jurisdiction include: Sales to minors, sales to obviously intoxicated persons, disorderly house, public nuisances, or any other violation of law by retailers; "trade practices" violations committed by alcohol manufacturers, importers, and wholesaler/distributors.

Complaints outside jurisdiction: Some technical regulatory violations such as wine labeling, exclusionary retail sales practices, and antitrust questions will be referred to Federal authorities.

3927 Lennane Drive, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95834
(916) 419-2500
(916) 419-2599

Inquiries or complaints about questionable activity of Alcoholic Beverage Control staff should be made to the Director's Office, Sacramento, (916) 263-6890.

Publications available: None are offered by the Consumer Information Center

See also: "Abuse (Substance)"

Other referrals: None

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