Voters in about a dozen rural counties approved loosening the restrictions on alcohol sales this week. Consumers will now be able to purchase malt beverages and mixed drinks at area ABC stores.
Most of the changes occurred to the west. Over the years the state has "gone wet" (allowed alohol sales) from east to west.
"I don't know whether that was bootleggers influence or just the conservative folks out there who were opposed to it, but as our state's population has increased we're seeing more and more areas in the west now, go wet, county wide," said Mike Herring, Chief Administrator of the North Carolina ABC Commission.
Of the state's 100 counties, about half have no restrictions on the sale of alcohol. The other half has a variety of limitations. Alcohol is now a five billion dollar-a-year industry for the state.
The last county that is completely dry is Graham, located in the southwest corner of the state, along the Tennessee border.