California Alcoholic Beverage Control

About ABC

The mission of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is to provide the highest level of service and public safety to the people of the State through licensing, education, and enforcement.

Our Values

Trust – We serve the public and one another with fairness and integrity.
Innovation – We embrace emerging change for continuous improvement.
Professionalism – We are ethical and respectful in all that we do.

Our Vision

Protect California communities through excellence in alcohol regulation and education.


Upon the repeal of prohibition in 1933 and the return of the legal sale of alcoholic beverages to California, taxation and regulation of the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages were given to the State Board of Equalization. In 1955, an amendment to the State Constitution became effective removing the duty of regulating the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages from the State Board of Equalization and placing it in the new Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

ABC Agents

ABC Agents are peace officers under Section 830.2 of the California Penal Code and are empowered to investigate and make arrests for violations of the Business and Professions Code that occur on or about licensed premises. Agents are further empowered to enforce any penal provisions of the law any place in the State. Licensees who violate State laws or local ordinances are subject to disciplinary action and may have their licenses suspended or revoked. These licensees are entitled to a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge and an appellate process to the State Supreme Court.