Why Is There No Happy Hour In North Carolina?

If you’re planning to vacation in North Carolina, you can scratch happy hour off your list of things to do. That’s because North Carolina hasn’t recognized happy hours for alcoholic beverages since August 1985, when concerns over drunk driving led the state Alcohol Control Commission to ban such drink specials. The commission’s change also came as the national drinking age was raised to 21. North Carolina isn’t alone, though; Alaska, Indiana, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah and Vermont also say no to happy hour. However, all is not lost for North Carolina. A bill filed in the North Carolina House on Monday would legalize happy hour drink specials if passed. House Bill 94, which has bipartisan support, would allowed licensed businesses to sell alcohol at a different price than the normal established price and allow customers to purchase more than one drink at a single price. The bill would also let businesses set special prices, such as a “two for one” deal on alcoholic beverages. Business would apply for a $100 “happy hour permit” that would be granted to those that already hold alcohol sellers permits. If approved, the new bill would take effect in July 2023.