The Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (Div. of ABC or ABC) is the unit of State Government that is charged with regulating the commerce of alcoholic beverages within the State of New Jersey. The 21st amendment to the United States Constitution gave each state the right to determine whether to allow alcoholic beverages, and, if so, how to regulate them. As soon as the amendment was adopted in 1933, New Jersey enacted its Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, which is commonly known as Title 33 (since the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law is contained in the Revised Statutes as the 33rd title listed alphabetically by major subject matter, and under the title of “Intoxicating Liquors”). In that law, a Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control was established under a Commissioner. In the late 1940’s, after New Jersey’s 1947 Constitution was adopted, some departments were consolidated and the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control was absorbed into and became a division of the Department of Law and Public Safety under the New Jersey Attorney General.
The Division of ABC is headed by a Director, who is appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Director is required to supervise the manufacture, distribution and sale of alcoholic beverages in such a manner as to fulfill the public policy and legislative purpose of the Alcoholic Beverage Control law. Investigations of violations of the ABC law are conducted by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Investigations Bureau.