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 ABC is…

A public safety agency with law enforcement responsibilities;

A major source of revenue for the Commonwealth;

An efficient, service - oriented retail business;

A provider of educational and prevention programs;

An administrative hearing agency addressing issues with establishments holding ABC licenses.

Law Enforcement
Education and Prevention
Administrative Hearings

About ABC


To enhance the quality of life for Virginia's citizens by balancing service, revenue and control in the distribution, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages.


To control the distribution of alcoholic beverages; operate efficient, conveniently located retail outlets; enforce the laws of the commonwealth pertaining to alcoholic beverages and youth access to tobacco products; and provide excellent customer service, a reliable source of revenue, and effective public safety.


ABC works to ensure that adults of legal age who choose to responsibly consume alcohol can do so in a safe environment — one that operates in compliance with the laws and regulations of the Commonwealth. ABC special agents have full police powers with a diverse range of duties — from investigating license applicants and conducting underage sale compliance checks, to enforcing criminal and ABC laws in more than 17,000 licensed establishments. ABC violations investigated by special agents are reported to the Hearings and Appeals Division to be scheduled for an administrative hearing. ABC is also a leader in alcohol prevention and community education initiatives, and offers conferences, training and materials for use by licensees and people of all ages throughout the Commonwealth.


With approximately 340 stores in convenient locations throughout the Commonwealth, ABC is dedicated to providing legal-aged adults with an enjoyable, modern shopping environment. ABC offers a wide selection of merchandise with more than 2,600 items on the regular Price List and an additional 225 items available through the Special Order Catalog.

Considerable planning is involved in determining locations for new stores to ensure optimum customer service and profitability for the Commonwealth. Market plans, management reports, and operational and real estate location studies are utilized in the decision-making process.


As a major source of revenue for the commonwealth, ABC has contributed more than $1.7 billion to Virginia's general fund in the last five years, and $8.2 billion to the general fund since the first ABC stores opened in 1934. Measures of success as ABC completed fiscal year 2013 include record sales of $769 million, up $35 million from the previous year. ABC remains committed to providing excellence and accountability to the citizens of Virginia by balancing control, service and revenue.

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