Following the era of Prohibition, each state individually decided how alcoholic beverages would be managed within its borders. The people of Alabama did not want alcoholic beverages marketed like soup and soft drinks. Recognizing the lethal potential of alcohol, Alabama citizens demanded its rigorous control. The ABC Board was legislatively created to fulfill this mandate.
The ABC Board controls alcoholic beverages through distribution, licensing, and enforcement. The Board operates a chain of retail stores selling the majority of liquor purchased in Alabama. The Board operates in an efficient and cost-effective manner to ensure that Alabamians who choose to purchase beverages are able to do so at a fair price while generating considerable revenue for the State and local governing authorities. The facts prove that the system of control in Alabama are working. The State ranks among the nation's leaders in per capita revenue from the sale of alcohol, but does so while maintaining one of the nation's lowest levels of per capita consumption. High revenue with low consumption. This exactly fulfills the mandate of the people of Alabama.
The ABC Board also licenses commercial firms to sell alcoholic beverages. These range from restaurants and nightclubs to small stores selling beer for off-premise use. Applicants for a license are examined carefully to ensure the individuals involved are of solid moral character and will ensure the laws of Alabama and rules of the Board are obeyed. The proposed site for selling or dispensing of beverages is checked through neighborhood survey. After a license is issued, the ABC Board continuously inspects operations of licensees.
The Board also conducts audits, collects taxes, and disburses revenue obtained from those taxes, and disburses revenues from the ABC Stores. Recipients of these funds include the Department of Mental Health, Special Education Trust Fund, Department of Human Resources, and the State General Fund.